Skip to main content

Full text of "Wars of the century and the development of military science"

See other formats


THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY 

SERIES 


IN  TWENTY-FIVE  VOLUMES 


EDITORS: 

Rev.  W.  H.  WITMROW,  M.A.,  D.D.,  F.R.S.C. 

CHARLES  G.  D.  ROBERTS,  M.A. 

J.  CASTELL  HOPKINS,  F.S.S. 

Rev.  T.  S.  LINSCOTT. 


Vol.  XVII. 


1 


THE  AUTHOR. 


17 


jDo^&^irw 


WARS    OF    THE    CENTURY 


AND  THE 


Development  of  Military  Science 


BY 

OSCAR  BROWNING,  M.A. 

Lecturer  in  History  at  Cambridge  University.     Author  of  "The   Thirty  Years' 

War,"  "Modern  England,"  "Modern  France,"  "England  and  Xapo- 

leon    in    1S03"  "A   History  of  England,"  4  Vols.,"  Life  of 

George  Eliot,"  "Dante's  Life  and  Works,"  "  Life  of 

Peter  the  Great."  Etc. 


London,  Toronto,  Philadelphia 

THE  LINSCOTT  PUBLISHING   COMPANY 

190I 


Eatered,  according  to  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  Year  One  Thousand  Nine 
Hundred  and  One.  by  the  Bradley-Garretson  Co.,  Limited,  in  the  Office 
of  the  Librarian  of  Congress,  at  Washington. 


Entered,  accordiDg  to  .\ct  of  Parliament  of  Canada,  in  the  Year  One 
Thousand  Nine  Hundred  and  One,  by  the  Bradley-Garretson  Co.,  Limited, 
in  the  Office  of  the  Minister  of  Agriculture. 


All  Rights  Reserved. 


u 

B^9 


PKEFACE. 


"No  account  of  the  Nineteenth  Century  would  be 
complete  without  a  narrative  of  its  wars  which  are 
not  inferior  in  interest  to  any  which  History  records. 
The  campaigns  of  I^apoleon  are  not  only  replete  with 
instruction  for  the  military  student,  but  are  full  of 
striking  dramatic  incidents,  and  from  the  marvellous 
personality  of  the  principal  actor  in  them  exercise  a 
fascination  over  the  mind  of  the  reader  independent 
of  his  sympathies.  The  War  of  Secession  in 
America  touches  us  nearly  both  from  the  science 
and  heroism  displayed  in  it,  and  from  the  fact  that 
the  two  combatants  were  of  the  same  race  and 
language,  while  the  great  War  of  1870  must  remain 
for  many  years  the  classical  example  of  every  branch 
of  the  military  art. 

It  is  humiliating  to  reflect  that  after  so  many  cen- 
turies of  civilisation  war  should  still  hold  so  largo 
a  place  in  the  annals  of  a  nation,  but  although  war 
is  the  cause  of  incalculable  suffering  and  the  product 
of  passion  and  folly,  yet  it  gives  abundant  op- 
portunity for  endurance  and  self-devotion,  and  is  the 
parent  of  many  of  the  noblest  qualities  of  man.  In 
the  nineteenth  century  we  may  at  least  comfort  our- 
selves with  the  contemplation  of  long  periods  of  peace. 
The  present  work  contains  the  history  of  no  war 

V 


Vi  '  PREFACE. 

between  1815  and  1854,  and  there  is  a  long  stretcli 
of  peace  between  1878  and  1898.  Undoubtedly, 
also,  in  the  progress  of  military  science  wars  tend  to 
become  short,  and  a  Thirty  Years'  War,  or  even  a 
Seven  Years'  War,  is  hardly  possible  in  our  time. 

The  present  writer  has  had  to  cover  a  large  field  in 
a  small  compass.  He  has  endeavoured  to  make  his 
book  intelligible  to  those  unfamiliar  with  professional 
military  phraseology,  and  for  this  reason  he  has 
preferred  to  indicate  the  progress  of  military  science 
rather  b^-  what  is  implied  in  the  narrative  than  by  a 
special  treatment  which  could  hardly  fail  to  be- 
come unduly  technical.  His  qualifications  for  the 
task  he  has  undertaken  are,  mainly,  that  for  many 
years  he  has  given  great  attention  to  the  campaigns 
of  Xapoleon,  and  that  the  later  wars  which  he  has. 
described  have  fallen  within  his  own  recollection. 
Schoolfellows  of  his  oaati  fought  in  the  Crimea,  and 
the  succeeding  struggles  of  the  century  recall  to  him 
many  personal  details  with  an  acute  vividness. 
Without  pretending  to  original  research,  he  has  en- 
deavoured to  follow  the  best  authorities  witih  judg- 
ment and  impartiality.  The  greater  part  of  the 
book  was  written  at  Berne,  which  possesses  one  of 
the  best  military  libraries  in  Switzerland,  that  of 
the  General  Staff,  and  the  warmest  thanks  of  the 
author  are  due  to  the  Federal  authorities  by  whose 
courtesy  he  was  allowed  to  borrow  books  from  its 
shelves. 

OSCAR  BROWXIXG. 

Kino's  College,  Cambridoe. 


CONTENTS. 


PART  ONE. 

THE  WAR  OF  THE  CONSULATE. 

1800-1801. 


CHAPTER  I. 

THE  PASSAGE  OF   THE  GREAT   ST.  BERNARD. 


PAGE 


Bonaparte  as  First  Consul.— His  Letter  to  King  George 
in.  of  England.— Bonaparte's  March  on  Italy.— The 
Difficulties  Encountered  during  the  March.— Arrival  of 
the  French  Troops  at  the  Hospice.— The  Condition  of 
the  Troops.— Napoleon's  Advance  Stopped  by  the  Fort 
of  Bard.— Bernkopf  Tricked 1 

CHAPTER  II. 

THE  PREPARATION  FOR  MARENGO. 

Bonaparte's  Entrance  into  Milan  and  How  he  was  Re- 
ceived.—Genoa  Captured  by  the  Austrians  and  their 
Subsequent  Defeat.— The  Battle  of  Montebello  and  Re- 
sults.—Afraid  Melas  would  Escape  Him 'J 

CHAPTER  III. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  MARENGO. 

Me-las  Explains  the  Condition  of  Affairs  to  his  Brother 
Gei:erals.— How  the  Austrian  Army  was  Composed.— 
The  v'rench  Driven  Back.— Where  the  Hardest  Struggle 
Took  Place.— The  Austrians  Gain  Marengo.— The  Ap- 

vii 


viii  CONTENTS. 

PADS 

pearance  of  Bonaparte.— The  French  Again  Driven  Back. 
— The  Arrival  of  Desaix  and  Subsequent  Defeat  of  the 
Austriuns. — Death  of  Desaix. — Bonaparte's  grief 13 

CHAPTER  IV. 

MOREAU. 

French  Success  in  Small  Engagements. — How  Moreau 
Drove  Kraj'  North. — The  Meeting  of  Joseph  Bonaparte 
and  Cobentzel  at  Luneville. — Bonaparte's  Conditions  of 
Peace. — The  Austrians  Reject  the  Terms 20 

CHAPTER  V. 

HOHENLINDEN. 

The  War  Renewed. — Wliere  Bonaparte's  Armies  were 
Posted. — Disastrous  Retreat. — A  Figlit  in  tlie  Woods. — 
The  Danube  Valley  and  the  Tvrol  Surrendere<l  to  the 
French. — Macdonald's  Marvellous  Passage  of  the  Splii- 
gen 24 


PART  TWO. 


THE  WAR  OF  THE  THIRD  COALITION". 

1805-1807. 


CHAPTER  VI. 

THE  INVASION  OF  ENGLAND. 

Napoleon  Crowned  Emperor. — His  Scheme  for  the  Inva- 
sion of  England. — How  it  Failed. — How  the  French 
Soldiers  were  Exercised  for  the  Purpose  of  Invading. — 
Avenging  the  Disgrace  of  Six  Hundred  Years. — Cowar- 
dice of  a  French  Admiral  and  its  Effect 29 

CHAPTER  VII. 

THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  ULM. 

Napoleon's  Anger. — His  Plan  of  the  Campaign  of  1805 
Against  the  Austrians  and  the  Russians.  — The  Plan  of 


CONTENTS.  ix 

PAGIC 

the  Allies. — How  the  French  Army  was  Mobilized. — The 
Austrians'  Mistake  and  Weakness. — How  the  French 
Deceived  their  Enemy. — Like  the  Rabbit  Before  the 
Cobra.— The  Battle  of  Elchingen.— A  Triumph  of  Military 
Skill.— How  Pitt  Received  the  News  of  the  Defeat  of  the 
Austrians  at  Ulm 35 

CHAPTER  VIII. 

THE  MARCH  TO   AUSTERLITZ. 

Napoleon's  March  on  Vienna. — The  Dangers  and  Difficul- 
ties to  be  Encountered. — French  Success. — How  Napo- 
leon Acted. — His  Plan  for  the  Entering  of  Vienna 
Spoilt  by  Murat's  Impatience. — The  Frencli  Suffer 
Heavy  Losses. — Napoleon's  Delight  at  their  Defence. — 
His  Anger  with  Murat.— How  the  Tabor  Bridge  was 
Won. — What  Proved  Kutusov's  Ruin. — The  Russians 
Determine  to  Attack  the  French , 46 

CHAPTER  IX. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  AUSTERLITZ. 

Napoleon's  Position. — How  he  Invigorated  the  Courage 
of  the  Army. — Before  the  Battle. — The  Austrian  Gen- 
eral's Elaborate  Plan  of  Battle. — Its  Failure. — How  the 
Battle  of  Austerlitz  was  Fought.— Napoleon  Surveys 
the  Enemy's  Movements. — The  Tactics  of  the  Allied 
Forces. — Napoleon's  Counter  Moves. — How  the  Allied 
Army  was  Cut  in  Two. — The  Composition  of  the  French 
Army  and  How  it  was  Armed 53 

CHAPTER  X. 

THE  BATTLES  OP  JENA  AND  AUERSTADT. 

Napoleon's  Aim  and  What  he  Did. — The  Mobilization  of 
the  Prussian  Army  and  What  it  was  Composed  of. — A 
Contrast. — An  Ultimatum  to  France. — French  Victor- 
ies—Napoleon's Plan.— The  French  Defend  Bravely. — 
Withstood  the  Assault  of  a  Thousand  Cavalry. — Destruc- 
tion of  the  Prussian  Army. — Napoleon  Enters  Berlin. . .     60 


X  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  XI. 

THE  BATTLES  OF  EYLAU  AND   FRIEDLAND. 

PAGE 

Napoleon  Threatens  to  Extiuguisli  Prussia.— Prussia  Raises 
Another  Army.— Summoning  the  Poles  to  Freedom. — 
Napoleon  Enters  Warsaw. — Benningsen's  Bold  Move. — 
Napoleon  Determines  to  Fight  a  Decisive  Battle. — The 
Position  of  the  Rival  Armies. — Napoleon's  Situation 
Critical. — The  King  of  Prussia  Refuses  Napoleon's  Offer 
of  Peace. — Determines  to  Crush  the  Enemy 69 


PART  THREE. 

THE  WAR  OF  1809. 


CHAPTER  XII. 

THE  FIVE  DAYS'  CAMPAIGN  IN  BAVARIA. 

Austria's  Desire  to  Wipe  out  the  Disgrace  of  the  Treaty 
of  Pressburg. — Reorganization  of  the  Austrian  Army. 
— Tlie  Austrians  Surprise  Napoleon. — Wliat  Napoleon 
Did  to  Raise  Troops. — Napoleon's  Scheme. — Archduke 
Charles  Crosses  the  Isar  and  his  Plan  of  Campaign. — 
The  Battle  of  Abensberg  and  its  Object.— The  Battle  of 
Landshut. — The  French  Gain  Ratisbon 75 

CHAPTER  XIII. 

ASPERN  AND  ESSLINGEN. 

Napoleon  Drives  the  Austrian  Troops  Before  Him. — The 
Battle  of  Ebelsberg. — A  Useless  Sacrifice .  — The  Situation 
of  the  Invaders. — Napoleon  Crosses  the  Danube. — The 
French  Suffer  a  Heavy  Defeat  at  Aspern. — Napoleon 
Worsted  for  the  Second  Time — His  Retreat  Across  the 
Danube 82 

CHAPTER  XIV. 

THE  ISLAND   OF  LOBAU. 

t^apoleon's  Plan  of  Defence.— An  Impregnable  Citadel. — 


CONTENTS.  xi 

PAGE 

The  Austrian's  Opinion  of  Napoleon's  Intentions.— His 
Preparation  for  a  Big  Battle.— How  he  Crossed  the 
River «9 

CHAPTER  XV. 

THE  BATTLE   OF   WAGRAM. 

The  French  once  more  Cross  the  River.— How  the  French 
Advanced  on  Enzersdorf.— The  Position  of  the  Austri- 
ans.— The  Two  Generals  before  the  Battle.— How  Napo- 
leon Surveyed  the  Battle.— The  Peace  of  Vienna  and 
End  of  the  Campaign 93 

CHAPTER  XVI. 

TACTICS  OF   EUROPEAN   NATIONS. 

The  DiflFerent  Branches  of  the  Military  Service  of  the 
World  and  How  they  Fought.- The  Different  Methods 
of  Fighting '•'8 


PART  FOUR. 

THE  INVASION   OF  RUSSIA. 
1813. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

THE  ADVANCE  TO  SMOLENSK. 

Napoleon's  Desire  to  Force  Russia  into  a  Closer  Observ- 
ance of  the  Continental  System.— Napoleon  Wishes  to 
Call  Back  into  Life  Italy  and  Spain.— The  Greatest 
Military  Enterprise  of  the  World.— Emperor  Alex- 
ander Issues  a  Proclamation.— The  Effect  of  Russian 
Weather  on  the  French  Army. — Napoleon's  Movements. 
—The  Russians  Retire,  Devastating  the  Country.— Fail- 
ure of  Napoleon's  Plan.— His  Entrance  into  Smolensk. 
—The  Successes  of  his  Generals. — Napoleon's  Entrance 
into  Vilna.— Balashov  and  Napoleon  —  104 


xii  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  XVIII. 

THE   BATTLK  OF  THE   BORODINO. 

PAGE 

The  March  upon  Mosccnv.— The  French  Suffer  through 
Lack  of  Food  and  Water. — Kutusov  Commands  the 
Russians.— What  the  French  Saw  when  they  Arrived 
at  the  Kolotza. — Tlie  Simple  Plans. — Heavy  Losses, 
70,000  Dead  and  Wounded  113 

CHAPTER  XIX. 

MOSCOW. 

The  Goal  of  their  Wanderings. — How  the  French  Found 
Moscow. — The  Burning  of  Moscow. — Why  Alexander 
Refused  to  Negotiate  for  Peace. — Napoleon  Determines 
to  Leave  Moscow. — The  Battle  of  Maloyaroslavetz  as 
the  Turning  Point  of  Napoleon's  Career. — Napoleon 
Abandons  the  Project  of  Retreating  by  Kaluga. — How 
Napoleon  Found  Borodino. — ^The  State  of  the  French 
Army. — Soldiers  Dying  from  Fatigue. — The  Retreat  on 
Smolensk. — The  Hardships  Encountered. — The  Disas- 
ters to  Napoleon's  Armies 117 

CHAPTER  XX. 

THE  BEREZINA. 

The  Russians  Determined  to  Intercept  the  Retreat  of  the 
Great  Army. — How  Eugene  Reached  Krasnoe.— A 
Needless  Act  of  Barbarity. — The  Condition  of  the 
French. — What  the  Remnant  of  Invaders  had  to  Deal 
with. — Working  Up  to  their  Shoulders  in  Icy  W^ater. 
— The  French  Attacked  on  Both  Sides  of  the  Stream. — 
A  Panic 123 

CHAPTER  XXI. 

THE  CLOSE. 

The  Cold  Intense. — The  Destruction  of  Life  Terribly 
Rapid. — Napoleon  Determines  to  Leave  the  Army  and 
Hasten  to  Paris. — He  Narrowly  Escapes  Capture. — Not 
Recognizable. — The    Soldiers    Reduced  to    Despair. — 


CONTENTS.  xiii 

PAGE 

Killed  by  the  Cossacks  and  Peasants.— Nothing  Com- 
parable to  the  Catastrophe  of  this  Campaign. — The  Dis- 
appearance of  Half  a  Million  Human  Beings. — At- 
tempted the  Impossible  and  Failed 128 


PART  FIVE. 

THE  WAR  OF  1813. 


CHAPTER  XXII. 

THE   BATTLE  OF  LUTZEN. 

Napoleon  Works  with  as  Great  Energy  as  Ever. — Had  to 
Drain  the  Resources  of  his  Empire  Even  to  Exhaus- 
tion.— How  he  Raised  his  Army. — Lacking  in  Material 
Resources. — The  Patriotic  Zeal  of  the  Prussians. — Mur- 
murs of  Revolt  from  the  Rhine  to  the  Elbe. — What 
Napoleon  Lost  through  the  Russian  Campaign. — The 
Advance  of  the  Allies. — Napoleon's  Strength  and  his 
Design. — Bliicher  Retakes  Rahna. — Bliicher  Forced  to 
Retire. — Both  Sides  Claim  the  Victory 131 

CHAPTER  XXIII. 

THE   BATTLE   OF  BAUTZEN. 

Napoleon  Follows  the  Allied  Armies  to  Dresden. — His 
Entrance  and  Presentation  with  the  Keys. — Feared 
Assassination. — The  German  Elbe  in  the  Hands  of  Napo- 
leon.— To  Deal  a  Fresh  Blow  on  the  Allies. — The  Head- 
quarters of  the  Tliree  Chiefs. — The  Battle  Becomes  Gen- 
eral.— The  Position  of  the  Rival  Armies. — Ney  does  not 
Carry  out  Napoleon's  Orders. — The  Armistice  of  Plei- 
switz 139 

CHAPTER  XXIV. 

THE  BATTLE  OF   DRESDEN. 

Napoleon  Superintends  the  Armies  of  his  Dominions. — 
What    Napoleon    Possessed   upon    the    Elbe    and   his 


xiv  CONTENTS. 

PAOB 

Strength. — His  Plan  to  Recover  his  Former  Position. — 
The  Force  of  the  Allies  and  their  Plan. — Napoleon's 
Forces. — He  Receives  News  of  an  Attack  on  Dresden. — 
Unlieard-of  Rapidity.— The  Cry  of  Anguish  Loud  and 
Bitter.— How  the  Battle  was  Fought.— Napoleon  Sur- 
veys the  Ground  from  a  Tower.— A  Colossal  Figure 144 

CHAPTER  XXV. 

DEFEATS. 

The  Allies'  Successful  Plan.— The  Emperor's  Mistake. — 
Bliicher's  Victor}-. — Disastrous  French  Retreat. — Napo- 
leon's Dreaded  Attack. — Failure  of  his  Design  to  Seize 
Berlin. — The  Grand  Army  Reduced  to  One-half.— Con- 
tents Himself  with  a  Defensive  Position. — How  He 
Placed  his  Forces.— The  Plan  of  the  Allied  Forces.— 
Napoleon  Forced  to  Quit  Dresden 151 

CHAPTER  XXVI. 

THE  BATTLE  OF   LEIPZIG. 

A  Six  Days'  Battle.— Called  the  Battle  of  the  Nations.— 
Napoleon's  Arrival  at  Leipzig. — A  Violent  Cavalry  En- 
gagement.—Preparation  for  the  Main  Conflict. — Napo- 
leon's Plan  of  Attack.— A  French  Cavalry  Charge.— A 
Russian  Regiment  Absolutely  Annihilated. — The  Main 
Charge  Ineffective.— Napoleon's  Pride  would  not  Allow 
Him  to  Make  this  Confession  of  Failure.— A  Furious 
Salvo  of  Artillery.— The  King  of  Saxony  Declared  a  Pris- 
oner of  War.— The  Empire  of  Napoleon  at  an  End. .    ..  1.5G 


PART  SIX. 

THE  PENINSULAR  WAR. 


CHAPTER  XXVII. 

THE  CONVENTION   OF   CINTRA. 
To  Subdue  England.— To  Form  a  Confederation  of  Latin 
Races  under  the  Leadership  of  France.— What  was 


CONTENTS.  XV 

PAGE 

Necessary. — What  Napoleou  Called  upon  the  Govern- 
ment of  Lisbon  to  do.— Not  Unwilling  so  Long  as  their 
Co-operation  did  not  Imply  a  Breach  with  England. — 
How  Portugal  was  to  be  Partitioned. — The  House  of 
Braganza  Ceases  to  Reign. — A  Revolution  Breaks  Out. 
— Napoleon  Throws  off  the  Mask. — Insurrection  in 
Madrid. — Napoleon's  first  Great  Check. — The  Battle  of 
Vimiero 161 

CHAPTER  XXVIIL 

NAPOLEON   IN  SPAIN. 

Napoleon  Determines  to  Take  the  Affairs  of  the  Peninsula 
into  his  Own  Hands. — He  Crosses  the  Frontier.— ^Ney  to 
Follow  Castanos  and  Not  to  Leave  a  Man  of  his  Army 
Alive. — Napoleon's  Orders. — He  Attacks  the  Enemy's 
Position. — A  Panic  Seizes  the  Spanish  Troops. — Austria 
Arming. — Napoleon's  Resolution. — The  English  Retreat. 
— Death  of  Sir  John  Moore 168 

CHAPTER  XXIX. 

SOULT  IN   PORTUGAL. 

The  War  was  not  of  Such  a  Nature  that  it  Could  be  Ter- 
minated by  Victories. — The  French  Harassed  by  the  Con- 
tinual Attacks  of  the  Guerilleros. — The  Siege  of  Sara- 
gossa. — The  Corpses  Filled  the  Cellars  and  Choked  the 
Streets. — Capitulation  a  Matter  of  Necessity. — The 
French  Moved  by  Pity. — French  Generals  Unable  to  Act 
Together. — Their  Ambition. — The  Duty  Imposed  upon 
Soult  by  Napoleon. — Why  Victories  Meant  but  Little. .  178 

CHAPTER  XXX. 

TALAVERA. 

Soult's  Dream  of  Perfect  Security. — The  English  Surprise 
Soult. — His  Retreat  Disastrous. — Wellesley  Determines 
to  Carry  the  War  to  Spain. — Wellesley's  March  on  Tala- 
vera. — Assailed  by  the  United  French  Armies. — A  Fierce 
Bayonet  Charge  Hurls  the  Enemy  Down  the  Hill. — 
3 


xvi  CONTENTS. 

PAOK 

Raised  the  Military  Reputation  of  England  to  a  Height 
Which  it  had  Never  Reached  Since  the  Campaign  of 
Marlborough. — Wellington's  Warning  Unheeded  and 
the  Result. — The  Tactics  of  the  French  Generals. — Na- 
poleon Changes  his  System  in  Spain 178 

CHAPTER  XXXI. 

MASSENA. 

Wellington  Retires  Before  Massena. — The  Position  Wel- 
lington Took  up  Behind  Coinibra. — How  the  French  At- 
tacked the  English  Position. — How  they  were  Met  by 
the  Defenders. — The  English  Forced  to  Retreat. — The 
Celebrated  Lines  of  Torres  Vedras. — What  they  Consist- 
ed of. — Hoped  to  have  Driven  the  English  to  their 
Ships. — Massena  Obliged  to  Retreat. — Massena  Once 
More  Attacks  Wellington. — The  English  Made  a  Gallant 
Resistance. — Massena  Returns  to  France  in  Disgrace. — 
The  Battle  of  Albuera 183 

CHAPTER  XXXII. 

SALAMANCA.  f 

Marshal  Marmont  Keeps  Guard  over  the  Frontier. — Wel- 
lington Driven  from  Badajoz.— Wellington  Retires  into 
Portugal.— A  Note  of  111  Omen.— Mortal  Hatred  between 
Soult  and  Marmont.— The  Fortress  of  Badajoz.— Ex- 
tremely Formidable.— One  of  the  Most  Thrilling  Chap- 
ters in  Military  History.  —The  Assault  on  the  Breaches.— 
Belched  Forth  its  Hideous  Artillery.— How  the  Broken 
Parapets  had  been  Retrenched.— The  English  Obtain  the 
Fortress.— In  Front  of  Salamanca.— How  Wellington 
was  Received.— The  Position  of  the  Battle-field  and  the 
Fight 187 

CHAPTER  XXXin. 

VITTORIA. 

Wellington  Pursues  Clausel.— Wellington's  Efforts  to  Cap- 
ture Burgos  Castle  Unsuccessful. — The  Blame  of  Failure 


CONTENTS.  xvii 

PAGE 

Laid  on  Soult.— Obliged  to  Recall  a  Number  of  Officers 
and  Seasoned  Soldiers.— How  the  Battle  of  Vittoria  was 
Fought.— Joseph  Recalled  to  France  in  Disgrace  and 
Placed  under  Arrest.— Wellington  Narrowly  Escapes 
Capture,— Pamplona  Surrenders  to  Wellington.— The 
End  of  the  Peninsular  War 194 


PART  SEVEN. 
THE  WAR  OF  1814. 


CHAPTER  XXXIV. 

THE   LION  AT   BAY. 

Napoleon's  Position  after  the  Battle  of  Leipzig.— No 
Energy  to  Resist  these  Invasions. — Lost  the  Power  of 
Initiative.— The  Object  of  the  Armies  of  Bohemia  and 
Silesia.— Napoleon  Worked  with  all  the  Resources  of  his 
Energy.— Defending  the  Soil  of  his  Country  Against 
the  Pollution  of  an  Invading  Foe.— How  Napoleon 
Thought  to  Supply  the  Deficiency.— The  Design  of 
Schwarzenberg  and  Bliicher.— Strength  of  the  Imperial 
Army.— Napoleon's  Plan  of  Attack.— Forced  to  Retreat. 
—The  Invaders  Determine  to  March  on  Paris.— How  Na- 
poleon Defeated  Bliicher's  Troops.— Cut  them  Down  and 
Huddled  them  up  in  Confusion.— Napoleon's  Intentions. 
—The  Allies'  Grand  Army  Arranged  in  Order  of  Battle. 
—The  General  Position  of  the  Armies 199 

CHAPTER  XXXV. 

SOISSONS   AND  LAON. 

The  Position  of  Affairs.— The  Allies  Form  Important 
Resolutions.— Bliicher's  March  on  Paris.— Desisted 
from  the  Pursuit  of  the  Austrians.— Bliicher's  Soldiers 


xviii  CONTENTS. 

PAOB 

in  the  Worst  Extremity  of  Fatigue  and  Misery. — 
Marched  Barefooted  and  in  Rags. — All  the  Fruits  of 
Napoleon's  Brilliant  Mauceuvres  Lost. — The  Rage  of  the 
Emperor. — The  Battle  of  Craonne. — Bliicher  Establishes 
Himself  at  Laon  and  is  Attacked  by  Napoleon. — The 
French  Dispersed  Looking  for  Food. — Paralyzed  by  Cold 
and  Slept  like  Sheep  in  a  Pen. — Cut  to  Pieces  in  their 
First  Sleep. — Gunners  Killed  at  their  Post. — Napoleon 
Defeats  the  Russians  at  Rheims 208 


CHAPTER  XXXVI. 

ARCIS-SUR-AUBE. 

Napoleon's  Whole  Scheme  Rendered  Impossible  and  How. 
— Napoleon  Decides  to  March  to  Troyes. — The  Allies  in 
Confusion  and  Embarrassment. — Schwarzenberg  Passed 
from  the  Heights  of  Confidence  to  the  Depths  of  Pusil- 
lanimity.— The  French  Driven  Back  in  Confusion. — Na- 
poleon Restores  Order. — The  French  Hold  their  Ground 
under  a  Terrible  Fire  of  Artillery. — Continued  with 
More  Boldness  than  Prudence. — An  Intercepted  Des- 
patch Gives  Allies  the  Light  they  Desired. — To  March 
on  Chalons  to  Approach  the  Army  of  Bliicher. — A  Fatal 
Suggestion 215 

CHAPTER  XXXVII. 

THE  CAPTURE  OF   PARIS. 

The  March  on  Paris. — The  National  Guards  Defended 
Themselves  witli  Heroic  Courage  and  Destroyed  to  a 
Man. — Napoleon  Ignorant  of  the  Allies'  Movements. — 
The  Sceptre  and  Sword  were  Trembling  in  his  Hands. — 
Orders  Issued  for  an  Advance  on  the  Capital. — Paris  Not 
Fortified. — Its  Position. — The  French  Evacuate  the  City. 
—Napoleon  Receives  Bad  News  at  Every  Post-house. — 
Napoleon  Signs  his  Abdication  and  Accepts  the  Sov- 
ereignty of  the  Island  of  Elba 221 


CONTENTS.  xix 

PART  EIGHT. 

THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  WATERLOO. 

1815. 


CHAPTER  XXXVIII. 

THE  RETURN   FROM   ELBA. 

PAQK 

The  Restoration  of  the  Bourbons. — Looked  upon  the  An- 
cient Regime  with  Horror. — The  Mistakes  of  the  Bour- 
bons on  their  Return  to  Paris. — Took  Every  Pains  to 
Obliterate  the  Memory  of  the  Revolution  and  the  Em- 
pire.— The  Strengtli  of  the  Army  Reduced. — The  Long- 
ing for  the  Return  of  the  Emperor. — Napoleon  Follows 
the  Movements  with  a  Watchful  Eye. — Reasons  Why 
he  should  not  Remain  where  he  was. — Napoleon 
Leaves  Elba. — Napoleon's  Boastful  Prophecy  Fulfilled. 
— Ney's  Promise  to  Bring  Back  Napoleon  in  an  Iron 
Cage. — Sang  a  DifTerent  Note 225 

CHAPTER  XXXIX. 

CHARLEROI. 

At  the  Congress  of  Vienna  Napoleon  Declared  an  Outlaw. 
— Strength  of  Napoleon's  Army. — What  Wellington  Pro- 
posed.— Six  Armies  to  Invade  France  Simultaneously. 
— Napoleon  Hesitates. — Napoleon's  Plan  to  Conquer  the 
English  and  the  Prussians. — Felt  Confident  One  Decisive 
Victory  would  Destroy  the  Coalition. — To  Aim  Straight 
at  the  Point  of  the  Juncture  of  the  Two  Armies. — Na- 
poleon Addresses  his  Soldiers. — How  the  French  Army 
was  Concentrated. — The  Allies  did  not  Believe  Napoleon 
would  Begin  the  Attack. — General  Bourmont  Deserts  on 
the  Morning  of  the  Battle. — Prussians  Visible  in  Force 
at  Gosselies. — What  Napoleon  Decided  upon. — One  of 
the  Chief  Causes  of  his  Ill-success 230 

CHAPTER  XL. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  LIGNY. 

Napoleon  Throws  Himself  into  the  Centre  of  the  Allied 
Position. — His  Orders  to  Grouchy  and  Ney. — Bliicher 


XX  CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Full  of  Ardor. — Wellington  at  the  Duchess  of  Rich- 
mond's Ball. — Wellington  and  Blucher  View  the  Posi- 
tion Ironi  a  Windmill. — What  Wellington  Arranged. — 
The  Battle-field  of  I.igny.— Napoleon's  Plan.— The  Prus- 
sians Lose,  but  Regain  St.  Amand. — The  Prussian 
Army  Mutilated,  but  not  Destroyed 238 

CHAPTER  XLI. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  QUATRE-BRAS. 

Had  Ney  Acted  with  Promptitude  he  would  have  been  in  a 
Position  to  Attack  Quatre-Bras. — What  Quatre-Bras 
Consisted  of, — The  Centre  of  the  Enemy  Forced. — The 
Allies  Began  to  Yield.— Death  of  Duke  Frederick  Wil- 
liam.— The  English  Retii'e  Gallantly. — How  Picton  Ral- 
lied the  28th  Regiment. — D'Erlon  Mi.sreads  his  Order. — 
Ney  Prays  that  he  may  be  Killed  by  an  English  Bullet. — 
Kellermann's  Charge  Paralleled  by  tlie  Charge  of  the 
Light  Brigade. — Ney's  Face  Suffused  with  Blood,  Bran- 
dishing his  Sword  Like  a  Madman. — Napoleon's  Orders. 
— Wellington  Retreats. — Like  a  Fox  Hunt. — Napoleon's 
Hatred  for  the  English.— He  Felt  Certain  of  Victory. . .  244 

CHAPTER  XLH. 

THE  BATTLE  OF    WATERLOO. 

Position  oi  the  Battle-field  at  Waterloo. — The  British  Posi- 
tion.— The  Morning  of  the  Battle. — Wellington  Employs 
Special  Tactics  to  Resist  the  French.  —The  First  Occasion 
in  which  Napoleon  had  Come  in  Conflict  with  English 
Troops. — Napoleon's  Opinion  of  the  English. — Gave  False 
Information. — Napoleon's  Troops  Pass  in  Review. — 
Never  Greater  Enthusiasm  Exhibited. — The  Battle  Com- 
menced by  an  Artillery  Duel. — Preparing  to  Make  his 
Main  Attack. — The  Order  to  Attack.— Descended  into 
the  Valley  under  an  Arch  of  Bullets. — Wellington 
Watches  the  Fight  from  the  Foot  of  a  Large  Elm. — 
Picton  Fell  in  the  Moment  of  Success. — Slaughtered  like 
Sheep. — The  Objects  of  Wellington  and  Napoleon. — 
Tlie  British  Fire  Rattled  upon  the  Cuirasses  of  the  Enemy 


CONTENTS.  xxi 

PAGE 

like  Hail  on  a  Slated  Roof. — Unable  to  Break  the 
Squares. — Wellington  Becomes  Anxious. — The  Defeat 
of  the  French  Made  Almost  Certain. — The  Guai-ds  of 
Maitland  Stood  like  a  Red  Brick  Wall.— The  French 
Guard  Gives  Way. — A  General  Rout. — The  Old  French 
Guards  Unable  to  Make  Headway  Against  the  English 
Cavalry 253 


PART  NINE. 
THE  WAR  IN  THE  CRIMEA. 


CHAPTER  XLIII. 

THE  BATTLE   OF  THE  ALMA. 

The  Allied  Armies  of  English  and  French  Land  at  Galli- 
poli. — A  Council  of  War. — Best  Metfiod  of  Annihilating 
the  Naval  Powers  of  Russia. — Strength  of  the  Allied 
Armies. — How  the  Armies  Advanced. — The  Russian's 
Position. — Showed  a  Want  of  Tactical  Skill. — The  Fire 
of  the  Russian  Batteries  Cause  Much  Loss. — The  Ad- 
vance of  the  Guards  and  Highlanders  Decided  the 
Battle. — A  Flank  March  Determined  upon. — A  Fruitful 
Cause  of  Disaster 266 

CHAPTER  XLIV. 

THE  BALACLAVA   CHARGE. 

Position  of  Sebastopol  Harbor. — Where  the  Allied  Armies 
were  Posted. — The  Historical  Famous  Redan. — The  De- 
fence of  Sebastopol,  How  it  was  Built  up. — Sir  John 
Burgoyne  Directs  the  Siege  Operations  of  the  English. — 
The  French  Batteries  Silenced. — The  English  Fire  More 
successful. — The  Bombardment  of  Canrobert's  Hill. — 
The  Russian  Mass  Gave  Way  and  Fled  Behind  the  Hill. 
— The  Two  Orders  Sent  to  Loi-d  Lucan. — The  Famous 
Charge. — Although  they  Knew  the  Charge  to  be  Desper- 
ate, they  did  not  Hesitate. — Rode  Back  Singly  or  in 
Twos  and  Threes 271 


xxii  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  XLV. 

THE  BATTLE  OF   INKERMAN. 

Paok 

A  Russian  Force  Marches  against  the  Camp  of  the  Second 
Division— The  Sand-Bag  Batter}-. —A  Crisis  Impending. 
— MenchikofT's  Plan.— How  the  Battle  was  Started.— 
15.000  Ru.ssians  Repulsed  by  Less  than  a  Fourth  of  their 
Number. — Captured  and  Spiked  .some  English  Guns —  277 

CHAPTER  XLVI. 

THE  WINTER— THE    FALL  OF    SEB.\STOPOL. 

To  Winter  in  the  Crimea.— Sick  and  Wounded  left  Bare 
of  Protection. — Twenty-one  Vessels  Dashed  to  Pieces. — 
The  Sick  and  Wounded  Reposed  in  Mud.— Nearly  8.000 
Men  in  Hospital. — Condition  of  the  Hospital. — Great  Ef- 
forts Made  to  Remedy  these  Disasters. — The  French  in 
Better  Condition.— Arrival  of  Miss  Florence  Nightin- 
gale.— Refused  the  Conditions  of  Peace. — The  Russians 
Repulsed  at  Eupatoria. — Death  of  the  Emperor  Nicholas. 
— The  French  Repulsed. — A  Truce  Agreed  upon. — The 
Hillside  Crowded  with  Spectators. — The  Cannonade  Be- 
gins.—The  Suffering  in  Sebastopol  Terrible. — Destruc- 
tion of  Provisions  and  Supplies. — Canrobert  Resigns  the 
Command  of  the  French. — A  Fresh  Bombardment  Com- 
menced as  Never  Seen  Before. — The  Allies  Make  an  As- 
sault on  the  Russians.— The  Enemy  Driven  from  all 
their  Outworks. — Death  of  Lord  Raglan.— The  Russians' 
Attack  Repulsed  with  Great  Slaughter.— The  Last  Hope 
Taken  Away. — The  Bombardment  Assumes  still  Greater 
Proportions.— Every  Traverse  Taken,  Retaken  and 
Taken  Again.— The  End  of  the  Crimean  War 382 


PART  TEN. 

THE  FRAXCO-ITALIAX  WAR  OF  1859. 


CHAPTER  XLVIL 

MONTEBELLO. 

Austria  Presents  an  Ultimatuin  to  Sardinia.— What  the 


CONTENTS.  xxiii 

PACiK 

Austrian  Forces  in  Italy  Consisted  of, — How  they  Ad- 
vanced.— The  Sardinian  Army. — Its  Strength. — The 
Force  of  the  French.— The  Conduct  of  theAustrians  Re- 
garded as  Inexplicable. — The  First  Meeting  of  the  Ene- 
mies.— The  Austrians  Occupy  Genestrello. — Conditions 
»£.the  Battle  Changed. — The  Austrians  Fall  Back  on 
Montebello. — The  French  Advance. — Obliged  to  Fight 
Hand  to  Hand. — The  Austrians  Retreat.— What  General 
Forey  had  Accomplished 294 

CHAPTER  XLVIII. 

PALESTRO   AND   MAGENTA. 

The  Attack  on  Palestro. — The  Austrians  Prepare  to  Make 
an  Assault. — The  Battalion  of  Jagers  Compelled  to  Yield. 
— Austrians  Drowned  in  the  Canal. — The  Result  of  the 
Battle  in  Favour  of  the  Allies. — The  Austrians  in  Full 
Retreat. — Disheartened  by  Retreat. — The  Position  of 
Magenta. — A  Formidable  Defensive  Position. — Before 
the  Battle. — The  French  Driven  Back  across  the  Canal. 
— The  Battle  Swayed  Backwards  and  Forwards. — The 
Rush  of  Picard's  Columns  Irresistible. — The  Emperor's 
Position. — How  the  Austrians  met  MacMahon's  Attack. 
— Tiie  Fight  at  Magenta 300 

CHAPTER  XLIX. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  SOLFERINO. 

The  Emperor's  Plan  to  Impede  Giulay's  Withdrawal  to 
the  Mincio. — Position  of  the  Battlefield  of  Solferino. — 
The  Military  Importance  of  Guidizzolo. — The  Strength 
of  the  Allied  Army. — The  Austrians'  Intentions. — The 
Plan  of  the  French. — Description  of  the  Battle. — The 
Austrian  Cavalry  Driven  Back. — The  Movements  of  Neil 
and  Canrobert. — The  Operations  of  the  Sardinians. — 
Struggle  on  Either  Side  Terrific. — The  Austrians  Retreat 
in  all  Directions. — The  Losses  at  the  Battle  of  Solferino. 
—The  End  of  the  War 309 


XXiv        •  CONTENTS. 

PART  ELEVEN. 

THE  WAR  OF  SECESSION  IN  AMERICA. 


CHAPTER  L. 

THE  BATTLE  OP   BULL  RUN. 

PAGE 

How  the  War  Started. — Seven  States  Declare  their  Union 
with  the  Other  States  Dissolved. — The  Formation  of  a 
Confederate  Government. — The  Capture  of  Fort  Sumter. 
— Tlie  First  Blood  was  Shed  at  Baltimore. — How  Els- 
worth  Became  the  Hero  of  the  National  Movement. — To 
Increase  the  Strength  of  the  Federal  Army. — The  Plans 
of  the  Opposing  Generals.— Tlie  Federal  Army  Drive  the 
Confederates  Back. — A  Rout  and  a  Race  for  Washing- 
ton.— One  of  Prince  Consort's  Last  Public  Acts 320 

CHAPTER  LI. 

THE   BATTLE  OP  SHILOH. 

The  Blockade  of  tlie  Southern  Ports.— Grant's  Reply  to 
Buckner's  Application  for  Terms  of  Capitulation. — The 
Foundation  of  Grant's  Reputation. — The  Strategic  Value 
of  New  Orleans.— The  Confederates  Prepare  Fire  Ships. 
— Farragut's  Important  Victory. — One  of  the  Bloodiest 
Battles  of  the  War.— General  Grant's  Position.— How 
Grant  Described  One  Part  of  tlie  Field.— General  Johns- 
ton Bleeds  to  Death 327 

CHAPTER  LII. 

RICHMOND— POPE   AND  LEE. 

General  McClellan  to  Fortify  the  Capital  and  Organise 
the  Army.— McClellan's  Movements.— The  Fight  at  Wil- 
liamsburg.—The  Cost  of  the  Battle  of  Fair  Oaks.— The 
Commander  of  the  Confederate  Army  and  his  Plan.— 
The  Battle  of  Richmond  Rages  Seven  Days.— The  Battle 
of  Gaines  Mills.— The  Federals  Retire.— The  Battle  of 
Frazier's  Farm. — How  McClellan's  Army  Made  its  Final 
Stand.— Banks  Engages  Jackson  at  Cedar  Mountain. — 
Pope  Orders  a  Retrograde  Movement. — The  Second  Bat- 


CONTENTS.  XXV 

PAQK 

tie  of  Bull  Run.— General  Lee  Pushed  into  Maryland.— 
McClellan's  March  to  Cover  Washington  and  Baltimore. 
—The  Battle  of  Antietam. — The  Confederate  Army 
Ought  to  have  been  Annihilated.— Burnside  Succeeds 
McClellan  in  Command.— Burnside  Aims  at  Richmond. 
—The  Attack  on  the  Heights  Held  by  Lee.— Nearly  Half 
of  the  Attacking  Force  Shot  Down.— The  End  of  the 
Campaign 332 

CHAPTER  LHI. 

HOOKER     AND     LEE. 

President  Lincoln's  Letter  to  General  Hooker  on  his  Suc- 
ceeding Burnside  in  Command. — Hooker  begins  by  Re- 
storing the  Discipline  of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac. — 
His  Move  on  Richmond. — Lee's  Movements. — Death  of 
"  Stonewall "  Jackson. — Hooker  Driven  Back. — The  Fed- 
eral Army  Recross  the  Rappahannock. — Admirable  Gen- 
eralship versus  Superior  Numbers. — The  South  Demands 
the  Invasion  of  the  North. — Hooker  Resigns  his  Com- 
mand.— The  Enemies  Meet. — The  Position  of  the  Battle- 
field.— Both  Sides  Fight  with  Determination. — The 
Federals  Driven  Back  by  Superior  Forces. — A  Murderous 
Struggle  for  the  Possession  of  Little  Round  Top.— Ewell's 
Troops  Driven  out  of  Gulp's  Hill. — Lee  Determined  to 
Pierce  the  Centre  of  Meade's  Line. — An  Artillery  Duel. 
— Lee's  Famous  Attack. — Stuart's  Cavalry  Unable  to  Co- 
operate with  the  Movement. — A  General  Advance  of  the 
Federal  Line  brings  the  Battle  to  a  Close. — Lee's  Retreat 
a  Pitiful  One. — The  Loss  of  the  Federals  and  the  Con- 
federates.— Vicksburg  Capitulates 345 

CHAPTER  LIV. 

« 

THE    W^ILDERNESS. 

General  Rosecrans  Proceeds  in  Pursuit  of  Bragg. — The 
Struggle  between  Bragg  and  Rosecrans. — The  Battle  Re- 
garded as  a  Confederate  Victory. — The  Federal  Forces 
Re-organised. — Grant's  Plan  to  Attack  Bragg. — The 
Battle  above  the   Clouds. — Bragg's  Army  Completely 


xxvi  CONTENTS. 

PAOK 

Defeated.— Grant  Given  the  Title  of  Lieutenant-Geneial. 
—What  the  Confederate  Army  Consisted  of.— Lee  At- 
tacks Grant  in  tlie  Wilderness.— A  Hand-to-Hand  En- 
gagement.— No  Decisive  Advantage  Gained  on  Either 
Si,ie.— The  Battle  Resumed.— The  Federals  Retire.— The 
Assault  on  the  Confederates'  Entrenchments. — Lee's 
Attempt  to  Recapture  the  Salient  Angle.— The  Two 
Armies  Opposed  to  Each  Other  at  Cold  Harbour. — 
Grant's  Reputation  Suffers. — Grant's  Movements  to  In- 
vest Richmond  and  Gain  Petersburg 358 

CHAPTER  LV. 

SHERMAN'S  MARCH. 

To  Capture  Atlanta.— Sherman's  Force  Comes  into  Con- 
tact witli  that  of  Johnston  at  New  Hope  Church.— 
Sherman  Gradually  Drawing  Nearer  to  Atlanta.— His 
Attempt  to  Capture  Johnston's  Position  in  the  Battle 
of  Kenesaw  a  Failure.— The  Battle  of  Atlanta.— Atlanta 
Won  by  Hard  Fighting  and  Clever  Strategy.— Sherman 
Sends  Away  all  the  Civil  Inhabitants  of  the  City.— His 
Great  March  from  Atlanta  to  Savannah.— The  Number 
of  Troops  at  Sherman's  Disposal. — The  Negroes  Swarmed 
after  the  Army  Believing  the  Day  of  Jubilee  had  Come. 
— Sherman  Occupies  Savannah. — His  March  towards 
Columbia.— Sherman's  liast  Battle  Fought  at  Benton- 
ville.-- -The  Terms  under  which  Lee  and  Johnston  Sur- 
rendered.— The  End  of  the  War 368 


PART   TWELVE. 

THE    WAR    OF    1866. 


CHAPTER  LVI. 

THE  INVASION   OF  SAXONY. 


The    Comparative   Strength   of  the    Belligerents. — How 
Prussia  Commenced  her  Preparations  for  War. — The 


CONTENTS.  XXvii 

PAGB 

Austrian  Army. — The  Strength  of  the  Italian  Army. — 
What  the  Saxony  Army  Consisted  of. — Prussia  Declares 
War  against  Hanover,  Hesse  Casel  and  Saxony. — The 
Elector  made  Prisoner  of  War. — The  Invasion  of  Saxony. 
— How  the  Prussian  Troops  were  Received  by  the  Popn 
ulation. — Benedek's  Scheme  to  Strike  a  Deadly  Blow  to 
the  Heart  of  the  Prussian  Kingdom  Rendered  Impos- 
sible   377 

CHAPTER  LVII. 

THE  BATTLE  OF   KONIGQRATZ. 

The  March  of  Prince  Frederick  Charles.— The  Battle  at 
Podol. — The  Prussians  Victorious. — A  Combat  Takes 
Place  at  Miinchengratz. — Prince  Frederick  Charles  with 
the  Loss  of  only  100  Men  Gains  13  Miles  of  Country  and 
Captures  1,000  Prisoners. — A  More  Serious  Battle  at 
Gitchin. — The  Strategic  Object  of  the  Movements  of  the 
Two  Prussian  Armies  Achieved. — The  Prussians  Cap- 
ture Koniginhof  after  a  Hot  Contest.— The  Result  of  the 
Battle  of  Skalitz  and  Schweinschadel. — Benedek  Retires 
Towards  Koniggratz. — Severe  Actions  Fought  by  Prince 
Frederick  Charles  and  the  Crown  Prince. — How  the 
Prussians  Attacked  Benedek. — The  Austrian  Batteries 
Attacked  and  the  Austrians  Forced  to  Retire. — Benedek 
Retired  to  Koniggratz  with  the  Fragments  of  his  Beaten 
Army. — The  Losses  of  the  Two  Armies  Engaged 383 

CHAPTER  LVIII. 

THE   WAR   IX   ITALY. 

Where  the  Strength  of  the  Austrians  Lay  in  Italy. — What 
La  Marmora  Determined. — The  Two  Armies  Meet. — The  , 
Austrians  Gain  a  Brilliant  Victory  at  Custozza. — Gari- 
baldi Twice  Worsted  in  Small  Engagements. — Cialdini 
Succeeds  La  Marmora  in  Command  of  the  Italians. — The 
Position  of  the  Troops. — The  Italians  Aimed  at  Occupy- 
ing all  Territories  in  which  the  Italian  Language  was 
Spoken. — Their  Ardour  Checked  by  the  Result  of  the 


xxviii  CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Naval  Battle  of  Lissa. — The  Austrians  Ceded  Venetia 
to  the  Emperor  Napoleon,  who  Made  it  Over  to  the 
Italians 390 

CHAPTER  LIX. 

THE  END  OF  THE  WAR. 

The  Efficiency  of  the  Bavarian  Army  was  Spoiled  by  the 
Vacillation  of  Prince  Charles. — A  Want  of  Energy  in 
the  Leaders  on  Both  Sides. — The  Battle  of  Langensalza, 
— Tlie  Prussians  Retreat. — The  Hanoverians  Masters  of 
the  Field. — King  of  Hanover  Hemmed  in  by  an  Army  of 
40,000  Enemies. — Determines  not  to  Sacrifice  his  Soldiers 
and  Accepts  the  Terms  Previously  Proposed  by  Prussia. 
— Tlie  Position  of  General  Vogel  von  Falckenstein  after 
the  Capitulation  of  the  Hanoverian??. — The  Cause  of  the 
Unity  of  the  Federals  not  being  Attained. — The  Plan 
Conceived  by  Falckenstein. — Tlie  Battle  of  Dombach 
had  no  Decisive  Conclusion. — The  Prussians  Gain  the 
Passage  of  the  Saale  at  Hammelburg. — The  Prussians 
Surprise  the  Bavarians. — Prince  Alexander's  Action  to 
Hold  Back  the  Prussians. — Prince  Alexander  Forced  to 
Retire. — Falckenstein  Establishes  his  Headquarters  in 
the  Old  Imperial  City. — Terror  Reigned  in  Vienna. — 
Archduke  Albert's  Orders  to  Field  Marshal  Benedek. . .  394 


PART  THIRTEEN. 

THE  WAR  OF  1870. 


CHAPTER  LX. 

THE  CONTENDING   FORCES. 

The  French  Army  Looked  upon  as  a  Pattern  for  all  Euro- 
pean Armies. — The  Principle  of  Liability  to  Military 
Service  Acknowledged  b}'  Frencli  Law. — Creation  of  a 
Mobile  National  Guard. — The  Military  Organisation  of 


CONTENTS.  xxix 

PAGK 

Prussia. — The  Contrast  between  the  Organisation  of  the 
Two  Armies  More  Apparent  in  their  Mobilisation. — King 
William  of  Prussia  Arrives  at  Berlin  and  Sanctions  the 
Orders  Prepared  by  General  Moltke. — The  Operation  of 
Bringing  a  Great  Army  from  a  Peace  to  a  War  Footing 
Carried  Out  in  tlie  Short  Period  of  Eighteen  days. — The 
German  Army  Rested  on  Solid  Foundation  and  Noth- 
ing Left  to  Chance. — The  French  Army  Loosely  put 
together. — The  Disposition  of  the  Two  Armies. — The 
Mobilisation  of  the  French  Army  an  Entire  Contrast  to 
that  of  its  Antagonist 403 

CHAPTER  LXI. 

"WEISSENBURG,    WORTH  AND   SAARBRUCKEN. 

The  Emperor  Leaves  St.  Cloud. — The  Empress  Radiant 
with  Joy  and  Hope. — It  is  my  War, She  Proudly  Claimed. 
—The  French  Plan.— The  First  Engagement.— The  Gen- 
eral Abel  Douay  Occupies  Weissenburg. — The  Prussian 
Force. — The  Town  of  Weissenburg  Stormed  and  Taken 
after  a  Gallant  Resistance.— The  First  Victory  gained 
by  German  Troops  on  French  Soil. — The  Battle  of  Worth. 
— The  Superiority  of  the  Prussian  Artillery  had  Become 
Evident. — Worth  Carried  by  Storm. — The  Storming  of 
the  Heights  East  of  Froschweiler. — The  French  Fought 
with  Passionate  Courage. — The  Prussians  Gain  Posses- 
sion of  the  Coveted  Ground. — The  French  Broke  and  Fled 
after  the  Loss  of  Froschweiler. — The  Germans  Gain  a 
Victory  at  Saarbriicken. — Two  Attacks  of  the  Prussians 
Repulsed. — With  Reinforcements  the  Prussians  Make 
Another  Attack. — The  French  Driven  Back. — General 
von  Goltz  Takes  the  Kaninchenberg. — Marshal  Bazaine 
Offers  his  Co-operation  to  Frossard  but  it  is  Declined. 
— How  the  Battle  was  Won 412 

CHAPTER  LXII. 

VIONVILLE. 

The  Gate  of  France  Opened  to  the  German  Armies  with- 
out Further  Struggle. — General  Consternation  Felt  at 


XXX  CONTENTS. 

PA  OB 

Paris. — (xeneral  MacMahon  Entrusted  with  the  Forma- 
tion of  a  New  Cabinet. — The  Prussian  Army  March  into 
Lorraine  and  Take  Possession  of  Nancy. — The  King  Is- 
sues a  Proclamation  to  the  French  People. — The  War 
Rapidly  Assumed  an  Internecine  Character. — German 
Governors  Appointed  in  Alsace  and  Lorraine. — General 
von  der  Goltz's  Aim  and  Movements. — His  Advance 
Brought  to  a  Check  at  Colombey. — The  Prussians  in  a 
very  Critical  Position. — General  Kameke  Turned  the 
Fortune  of  the  Day. — The  French  Withdrew  to  Metz. — 
The  French  Army  Set  Out  from  Metz  towards  Verdun. 
— The  Positions  of  Tronville,  Mars-la-Tour  and  Vion- 
ville  Reached. — Alvensleben  Determines  to  Attack  the 
French. — A  Terrible  Struggle. — The  French  Compelled 
to  Retreat. — Bazaine  Nearly  Taken  Prisoner. — The  Bril- 
liant Charge  of  Bredow's  Corps. —The  Losses  in  the 
Battle. — The  Result  not  so  Much  a  Tactical  as  a  Moral 
Victory. — The  French  Ordered  to  Retire  towards  Metz. 
— Bazaine  Announces  to  his  Government  the  Battle  of 
Vionville  as  a  French  Victory.— Why  he  Withdrew... .  419 

CHAPTER  LXHL 

GUAVELOTTE. 

The  French  Army  had  Entirely  Changed  its  Method  of 
Fighting  from  the  Days  of  Napoleon. — Bazaine  Deter- 
mined to  Engage  in  a  Decisive  Battle. — Where  the 
French  were  Posted. — How  the  King  of  Prussia  Drew  up 
his  Own  Army. — The  French  Opened  the  Battle  with  a 
Murderous  Fire.— Marshal  Bazaine  had  Sound  Reasons 
for  Believing  that  the  Battle  was  Already  Decided  in 
his  Favour.— The  Germans  Became  Masters  of  St. 
Privat. — Ladmirault  Evacuates  liis  Position — General 
Fransecky's  Orders  to  Carry  the  Plateau  of  the  Moscow 
Farm.— Necessary  to  Pass  through  the  Terrible  Defile 
of  Gravelotte. — How  the  Orders  were  Carried  out. — The 
Losses  of  the  Opposing  Forces.— The  Line  of  the  Moselle 
the  Objective  of  the  German  Army 428 


CONTENTS.  xxxi 

CHAPTER  LXIV. 

THE  MARCH   TO   SEDAN. 

PAGE 

Bazaine  Definitelj' Shut  up  in  Metz. — The  German  Army's 
Difficult  Task.— The  King's  Plan.— The  Crown  Prince  to 
March  upon  Paris. — The  Army  of  the  Siege  Invests  the 
City  on  Both  Sides  of  tlie  Moselle. — The  Whole  Length 
of  the  Line  of  Investment  about  Thirty  Miles. — Bazaine's 
Object  to  get  Possession  of  Thionville. — After  a  Few 
Attempts  Became  Convinced  that  the  Prussian  General 
was  his  Master. — Bazaine  Makes  a  Powerful  Sortie. — 
Succeeded  in  Driving  the  Germans  out  of  their  Posi- 
tion.— Repulsed  by  a  Night  Attack. — The  Surrender  of 
the  Ai'my  in  Metz  only  a  Matter  of  Time. — The  Em- 
peror to  Proceed  to  Paris  and  Resume  the  Reins  of 
Government. — MacMahon's  Army  to  March  on  Paris  and 
Accept  a  Battle  there  if  Necessary. — The  Opposition  of 
the  Empress  and  the  Ministry  to  Both. — It  was  Insisted 
upon  that  MacMahon  should  Make  an  Offensive  Ad- 
vance in  the  Direction  of  Verdun. — MacMahon's  March 
to  Montmedy. — The  Army  of  Chalons  Gradually  Lost 
Confidence  in  their  Leaders. — Dejection  and  Insubordi- 
nation Became  Rife. — The  Manoeuvres  of  the  Germans  to 
Destroy  MacMahon  never  been  Equalled  in  the  His- 
"*"  tory  of  War. — The  French  Forced  to  Accept  Battle 
under  Most  Unfavourable  Circumstances. — ^The  French 
Troops  were  Enjoying  their  Ease  when  Shells  Fell  into 
the  Camp. — The  Battle  of  Beaumont  had  a  Decisive  Ef- 
fect.— The  Emperor  of  the  French  Refused  to  Leave  the 
Army. — To  Escape  Being  Surrounded  a  Night  March 
Necessary. — MacMahon's  Design  Rendered  Nugatory  by 
the  Swift  Advance  of  the  German  Troops. — The  French 
Entangled  in  a  Snare  without  any  Chance  of  Escape. . .  437 

CHAPTER  LXV. 

SEDAN. 

The  French  Army  at  Sedan  Confined  within  a  Space  of 
Four  and  a  Half  Miles  from  North  to  South  and  Two 


xxxii  CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Miles  from  East  to  West. — The  Battle  Began  before  Day- 
break.— The  Bavarians  Attack  Bazeilles. — Captured 
after  a  Hard  Struggle. — Marshal  MacMahon  Severely 
Wounded. — He  Appoints  Ducrot  as  Commander. — 
Wimptfen  Claims  the  Position. — The  Bavarians  Become 
Masters  of  Bazeilles  after  Six  Hours'  Fighting. — The 
Prussians  Direct  a  Terrible  Artillery  Fire  on  the  French 
Division  Defending  Floing  and  Illay. — The  French  had 
only  Two  Means  of  Escape.— The  Boldest  General  Might 
well  Hesitate  before  Accepting  Either  Course. — Broken 
Bodies  of  the  French  Flying  in  all  Directions. — The 
Prussians  Succeed  in  Cutting  off  the  Eetreat  from  a 
Number  of  French  Detachments. — General  Duci'ot's 
Entrance  into  the  Town. — The  Streets  and  Squares 
Blocked  with  Guns. — Nothing  before  him  but  a  Chaotic 
Mob. — Found  the  Emperor  in  a  State  of  Deep  Dejection 
and  Perfectly  Hopeless. — King  of  Prussia  Calls  on  the 
French  Commandant  to  Capitulate. — The  Emperor  De- 
livers his  Sword  to  the  King. — The  King  Deeply  Moved 
— The  Capitulation  Signed. — Tlie  French  Prisoners  of 
War  Taken  to  a  Tongue  of  Land  at  Iges. — Bivouacked  in 
Mud. — No  Further  Obstacle  to  the  Advance  of  the  Third 
and  Fourth  Armies  on  Paris. — The  German  Losses 
9,860  ;  French  Losses  41,000 447 

CHAPTER  LXVI. 

THE  WAR  IN  THE  PROVINCES. 

General  Vinoy  Returns  to  Paris. — The  Agitation  in  Paris 
Became  More  Riotous. — The  City  Being  Gradually  In- 
vested.— The  Number  of  Forces  Occupied  in  this  Invest- 
ment was  250,000. — Paris  a  Fortress  of  the  First  Rank. — 
The  Germans  Placed  their  Confidence  in  Famine. — Toul 
Capitulated  after  a  Terrible  Bombardment. — Strasburg 
Falls  into  the  Hands  of  the  Germans. — Incidents  of  the 
Siege. — Leon  Gambetta  Leaves  Paris  in  a  Balloon. — He 
Used  every  Effort  to  Rouse  the  Country  against  the 
Invaders. — The  French  Succeeded  in  Driving  the  Ger- 
mans from  Le  Bourget. — Eventually  Driven  Back  after 


CONTENTS.  xxxiii 

PAGE 

an  Obstinate  Resistance.— Communications  between  the 
Capital  and  the  Provinces  Supplied  by  Carrier-Pigeons 
and  Balloons.— Bazaine  Capitulates,— General  vou  Wer- 
der  has  to  Deal  with  a  Guerilla  Warfare.- Prince  Wil- 
liam of  Baden  Captures  Dijon.— Gambetta  Succeeds  in 
Involving  the  Whole  of  the  French  Nation.— Making  the 
Annihilation  of  the  Enemy  a  National  Duty.— The 
French  Compelled  to  Fight  in  the  Forest  of  Orleans.— 
Motterouge  Deprived  of  his  Command. —A  Severe  Battle 
at  Coulmiers.- The  French  Successful.— The  Indecisive 
Battle  of  Beaune  la  Rolande.— The  Battle  of  Loigny.— 
The  French  Compelled  to  Retreat 456 


CHAPTER  LXVII. 

THE  SIEGE  OF    PARIS. 

Trochu  Tried  to  Second  tlie  Efforts  Made  to  Relieve  Paris 
by  Repeated  Sorties.— The  French  Compelled  to  Retire 
to  the  South.— The  Germans  Enter  Orleans.— The  Pas- 
sionate Efforts  of  the  French.- Resembled  the  Struggles 
of  a  Victim  in  the  Arms  of  the  Murderer  who  was 
Strangling  him.— The  Seat  of  Government   Removed 
from  Tours  to  Bordeaux.— French  Successes,— Chanzy 
Gradually  Driven  Back.— All  Hopes  of  Relieving  Paris 
Disappeared.— Energetic  Sorties  from  Within   Paris.— 
General  Ducrot  Compels  the  Germans  to  Evacuate  Brie 
and  Champigny.— But  were  Recovered  the  Next  Day.— 
Faidherbe  Suffers  a  Heavy  Defeat  at  St.  Quentin.— The 
Bombardment  of  Paris  Begun.— Trochu  Makes  one  Last 
Effort.— Vinoy's  Column  Gains  Possession  of  the  Ger- 
man Entrenchments  at  Montretout.— Gambetta  Forms  a 
Plan  for  the  Destruction  of  the  Germans.— The  French 
Surrender.— An  Army  of  85,000  in  the  Most  Miserable 
Condition  Lay  down  their  Arms,— The  Preliminaries  of 
Peace  Signed  at  Versailles  between  Bismarck  and  Jules 
Favre,— One  of  the  Most  Remarkable  Wars  in  History. 
—Never  before    had  such  Large   Masses   of  Men  been 
seen  in  Conflict 467 


XXXiv  CONTENTS. 

PART  FOURTEEN. 
THE  RUSSO-TURKISn  WAR. 


CHAPTER  LXVIII. 

THE   RUSSIAN   ADVANCE. 

PAQK 

The  Emperor  Alexander  II.  Issues  a  Proclamation. — To 
Secure  for  his  Suffering  Fellow-Cliristians  on  Turkish 
Soil  the  Safeguards  Necessary-  for  their  Future  Welfare. 
— Prince  Charles  of  Roumania  Assists  the  Russians. — 
The  Russians  Cross  the  Danube  at  Galatz  with  but  Little 
Difficulty. — The  Important  Fortress  of  Nicopolis  Falls 
into  their  Hands. — England  Offered  to  the  Porte  to 
Send  Men  of  War  into  the  Bosphorus. — The  Turks  Su- 
perior to  the  Russians  in  Armaments.— Two  Attempts  of 
the  Russians  to  Capture  Plevna  Fail. — The  Russian  Ad- 
vance Brought  to  a  Standstill. — The  Russians  had  Under- 
estimated their  Enemy.— The  Russians  Act  on  the  De- 
fensive.— The  Three  Turkish  Commanders  all  Independ- 
ent of  Each  Other. — Suleiman  Determines  to  Attack 
the  Shipka  Pass.— The  Position  of  the  Russians  Critical. 
— Their  Artillery  Ammunition  Exhausted. — Reinforce- 
ments Save  the  Situation. — The  Turks  Driven  Back. — 
For  Three  Days  Less  than  8,000  Russians  Hold  the 
Army  of  Suleiman  in  Check,  their  Only  Food  being  the 
Biscuits  they  had  in  their  Pockets  when  they  Began. — 
Mehemet  Ali  Drives  the  Russians  Back. — Mehemet  De- 
feated and  Compelled  to  Retreat  Along  his  Whole  Line. 
— He  is  Superseded  by  Suleiman  Pasha 476 


CHAPTER  LXIX. 

PLEVNA. 

The  Attention  of  the  Russian  Directed  towards  Plevna. — 


CONTENTS.  XXXV 

PAQE 

The  Grand  Duke  Attacked  by  Osman.— Tlie  Russians 
Capture  Lovtcha.— Dead  and  Wounded  Piled  up  Six 
Feet  deep  around  its  Approach.— Osman  Fortifies 
Plevna.— The  Russians  Attack  and  Bombard  the  Re- 
doubts.—A  Great  Disaster  for  the  Russian  Army.— In 
Armenia  the  Turks  Force  tlie  Russians  to  Evacuate 
Bajazid.— The  Army  of  the  Caucasus  Redress  this  De- 
feat.— Suleiman  Pasha  Drives  General  Gourko  Back  to 
the  Shipka  Pass.— Orman  Pasha  Refuses  to  Surrender 
Plevna.— A  Third  of  his  Army  Sick  and  Wounded.— De- 
sertion Increasing  every  Day. — His  Army  Defeated. — 
Nothing  Left  but  to  Surrender.— The  Turks  Retreat  To- 
wards the  Vid.— The  Retreat  Turned  into  a  Rout.— Os- 
man Pasha  Credited  with  a  Brilliant  Defence.— Ought  to 
have  Retreated  to  Radonitz.— Could  have  Saved  his 
Country  from  an  Irreparable  Disaster 484 


CHAPTER  LXX. 

THE  SHIPKA  PASS. 

The  Turkish  Cause  Far  from  being  Hopeless. — War  De- 
clared against  the  Turks  by  Servia. — The  Grand  Duke 
Nicholas  Determines  to  Cross  the  Balkans  before  the 
Turks  had  Time  to  Recover  themselves. — The  Attack  on 
Sophia.— The  Turks  Evacuate  the  City.— To  Retire  with 
Safety  across  the  Mountains  of  Rhodope  the  Turks 
Forced  to  Accept  a  Battle. — Suleiman  Runs  Away  be- 
fore the  Battle.— The  Russians  Successful.— The  Turks 
Climb  up  the  Mountains  through  the  Snow. — Gourko 
had  Succeeded  in  Entirely  Destroying  Suleiman's  Army. 
— Suleiman  was  Arrested  and  Tried  by  Court-Martial. — 
The  Passage  of  the  Shipka  Pass.— The  Turkish  Redoubts 
Carried  in  a  Brilliant  Manner. — Surrender  of  the  Whole 
Turkish  Force  of  36.000.— The  Defence  of  the  Balkans 
Entirely  Collapsed. — The  Ancient  Capital  of  Turkey  Fell 
without  a  Blow 490 


xxxvi  CONTENTS. 

PART  FIFTEEN. 
THE  SPANISH-AMERICAN  WAR  OF  1898. 


CHAPTER  LXXI. 

MANILLA   AND  SANTIAGO. 

PAGE 

The  News  of  War  between  Spain  and  America  Received 
with  Great  Joy  in  New  York. — The  Northern  Coast  of 
Cuba  Blockaded. — Spanish  Gunboats  Succeed  in  Break- 
ing through  the  Blockade  of  Havana. — A  Squadron  Left 
Cadiz  under  Admiral  Cervera. — Castle  Morro  at  Havana 
Bombarded  by  the  American  Fleet. — Cervera  might  At- 
tack the  East  Coast  of  North  America. — Mines  Laid  as 
a  Precautionary  Measure  in  the  Harbour  of  New  York. 
—Admiral  Dewey  Ordered  to  Sail  for  the  Philippine 
Islands.— He  Destroys  the  Spanish  Fleet  Lying  in  the 
Bay  of  Manilla.— The  Spaniards  Defend  themselves 
with  Heroic  Courage.— Consternation  in  Madrid.— The 
Ministry  Reconstructed.— The  Arrival  of  Cervera  at  Mar- 
tinique.—The  Situation  of  Santiago.— The  Bombard- 
ment.—The  Americans  Joined  by  the  Insurgents.— The 
Battle  of  Guasimos  a  Victory  for  the  Americans.— The 
Main  Burden  of  the  Fighting  Fell  upon  the  Regiment  of 
"  Rough  Riders."— Attacked  and  Vanquished  a  Force 
of  over  Four  Times  their  Number 496 

CHAPTER  LXXII. 

CUBA   AND   PUERTO   RICO. 

The  Battle  of  San  Juan.— Caney  Held  by  500  Spanish 
Soldiers.— The  Americans  Attack  and  Take  the  Village. 
—Their  Loss  Greatest  at  the  San  Juan  River.— They  As- 
sault the  Hill  on  which  were  the  Spanish  Blockhouse 
and  Fort  of  San  Juan.— Madness  to  Assault  this  without 
Artillery. — They  Flooded  the  Ridges  and  Swarmed  in 
the  BlockhoiLse. — An  Unexpected  Incident  Supervened. 
— Cervera's  Fleet  Sails  out  of  the  Harbour  and  in  Three- 


CONTENTS.  XXXvii 

PAGE 

quarters  of  an  Hour  is  Entirely  Destroyed.— The  Ameri- 
can Fleet  Three  Times  Superior  in  Number  and  Armed 
with  Excellent  Artillery.— Cervera  Taken  Prisoner.— 
The  Town  and  Province  of  Santiago  de  Cuba  Surren- 
dered.—Marshal  Blanco  Refused  to  Recognise  the 
Capitulation  of  Santiago.— The  Spanish  Troops  in  Ripa, 
Caimanera  and  Guantanamo  liay  Down  their  Arms.— 
Great  Dejection  in  Spain.— Might  have  Conquered  if 
they  had  Sent  4,000  Men  to  Florida.— Governor-General 
Augusti's  Proposition  to  the  German  Vice- Admiral  von 
Diedrich  at  Manilla,  the  Neutral  Powers  should  Take 
Manilla  under  their  Protection.— The  Offer  Refused.— 
The  American  Flag  Hoisted  in  the  Ladrone  Islands.— 
The  Surrender  of  Manilla  Demanded  by  Admiral  Dewey. 
—The  Summons  Rejected— The  Capture  of  the  Island  of 
Puerto  Rico.— A  Striking  Contrast  to  the  Operations  in 
Cuba.— A  Protest  against  the  Attack  of  the  Americans 
on  Puerto  Rico.— The  Army  in  Puerto  Rico  Advanced 
with  the  Precision  of  a  Set  of  Chessmen.— The  Spanish 
Government  Declares  itself  Beaten  and  Asks  for  Condi- 
tions of  Peace.— The  Definite  Treaty  Signed 503 


ILLUSTRATIONS. 


TARE 

The  Author Frontispiece. 

Napoleon  I.,  Emperor  of  the  Fren'ch 26 

The  Duke  of  Wellington 170 

Napoleon  III.,  Emperor  of  the  French 298 

General  U.  S.  Grant 346 

Field  Marshal,  Count  Helmuth  Von  Moltke 410 


WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY, 


PART  ONE. 


THE  WARS  OF  THE  COXSULATE. 

1800-1801. 


CHAPTER  I. 

THE  PASSAGE  OF  THE  GKEAT  ST.   BERNARD. 

Bonaparte  left  Egypt  on  August  24,  1799,  and 
landed  in  France  on  October  8.  By  the  events  of 
jSTovember  9  of  the  same  year,  better  known  as 
Brnmaire  18,  the  government  of  the  Directory  was 
overthrown  and  Bonaparte  became  First  Consnl,with 
Cambaceres  and  Lebrun  as  his  colleagues.  His  first 
act  was  to  address  on  Christmas  Day,  1799,  a  letter 
written  in  his  ovm  hand  to  George  III.,  King  of  Eng- 
land, in  the  following  terms : 

"  Called  bv  the  wishes  of  the  French  nation  to 
occupy  the  first  magistracy  of  the  republic,  I  think  it 
proper,  on  entering  into  oSice,  to  make  a  direct  com- 
munication of  it  to  your  majesty.  The  war  which 
for  eight  years  has  ravaged  the  four  quarters  of  the 
world,  must  it  be  eternal — are  there  no  means  of 
coming  to  an  understanding  ? 

"  How  can  the  two  most  enlightened  nations  of 


2  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Europe ,  po\verful  and  strong  beyond  what  their 
safety  and  independence  require,  sacrifice  to  ideas  of 
vain  greatness  the  benefits  of  commerce,  internal 
prosperity  and  the  happiness  of  families  ?  How  is 
it  that  they  do  not  feel  that  peace  is  of  the  first 
necessity  as  well  as  of  the  first  glory  ? 

"  These  sentiments  cannot  be  foreign  to  the  heart 
of  your  majesty,  who  reigns  over  a  free  nation,  and 
Avith  the  sole  view  of  rendering  it  happy.  Your 
majesty  will  only  see  in  this  overture  my  sincere 
desire  to  contribute  efficaciously,  for  the  second  time, 
to  a  general  pacification,  by  a  step  speedy,  entirely  of 
confidence,  and  disengaged  from  those  forms  which, 
necessary  perhaps  to  disguise  the  dependence  of 
weak  states,  prove  only  in  those  which  are  strong 
the  mutual  desire  of  deceiving  each  other. 

"  France  and  England,  by  the  abuse  of  their 
strength,  may  still  for  a  brief  time,  to  the  misfor- 
tune of  all  nations,  retard  the  period  of  their  being 
exhausted.  But,  I  will  venture  to  say,  the  fate  of 
all  civilised  nations  is  attached  to  the  termination  of 
a  war  which  involves  the  whole  world." 

This  letter  was  met  bv  a  chilling  official  answer 
from  Lord  Grenville,  as  Secretary  of  State,  and  the 
war  begun  in  1793  went  on,  notwithstanding  strong 
opposition  in  the  English  Parliament.  A  similar 
letter  was  addressed  by  Bonaparte  to  the  Em- 
peror Francis  II.,  reminding  him  of  the  re- 
lations which  had  previously  existed  between 
them,  and  offering  to  renew  the  peace  of  Campo- 
Formio.  But  Austria  had  regained  so  much 
lost  ground  during  the  absence  of  ]^apoleon  in 
Egypt  that  the  offers  of  the  First  Consul  were  re- 
jected. The  cold  and  insulting  replies  of  Pitt  and 
Thugut   increased  the   popularity  of  Bonaparte   in 


THE  PASSAGE  OF  THE  GREAT  ST.  BERNARD.   3 

France,  and  the  country  armed  itself  with  enthusiasm 
to  extort  hy  force  the  settlement  which  it  could  not 
obtain  by  persuasion.  General  Moreau,  who  was 
occuj)ying  the  valley  of  the  Rhine  from  Strasburg  to 
Bale,  received  orders  to  cross  the  stream  and  to  ad- 
vance against  the  army  of  the  Black  Forest  under 
the  command  of  Kray.  Massena  and  Suchet  were 
charged  to  protect  the  sea-coast  of  Nice  and  Genoa  and 
to  prevent  the  Austrian  General  Melas  from  crossing 
the  Apennines.  In  the  centre  General  Lecourbe, 
with  his  headquarters  at  Schaffhausen,  was  to  main- 
tain his  connection  with  both  armies  and  to  lend  his 
assistance  either  to  the  Xorth  or  South,  according  to 
circumstances.  An  army  of  reserves  was  formed  at 
Dijon. 

On  May  6,  1800,  Bonaparte,  enveloped  in  a  long 
gray  coat,  left  his  apartments  in  the  Tuilleries, 
jumped  into  a  travelling  carriage  and  passed  through 
Paris  at  a  gallop  accompanied  by  Bourrienne.  Duroc 
had  left  the  capital  two  days  before  to  prepare  relays. 
At  half-past  seven  in  the  evening  tlie  First  Consul 
reached  Avallon,  having  travelled  about  one  hundred 
and  thirty  miles  in  fifteen  hours.  He  worked  till 
midnight,  left  before  dawn  and  reached  Dijon  at 
midday.  In  the  afternoon  he  held  a  review  and 
spoke  to  the  several  soldiers  about  their  terms  of 
service.  He  found  many  of  them  badly  clothed  and 
shod,  but  promised  them  abundance  of  everything  in 
the  paradise  of  Italy.  At  midnight  he  entered 
Geneva,  gay  and  in  high  spirits.  He  examined  his 
maps,  and  finally  determined  to  invade  Italy  by  the 
Great  St.  Bernard. 

His  arrangements  were  rapidly  made.  The  Italian 
legion  was  to  proceed  by  passes  now  familiar  to  tour- 
ists, from  Sion  up  the  valley  of  Saas,  over  the  Monte 


4  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

jNIoro  to  Ponte  Grande,  and  then  bv  the  Col  de  Ran- 
zola  to  Grcssonay,  distracting  the  attention  of  the 
Anstrians,  and  facilitating  the  passage  of  the  St. 
Gothard  by  General  Moncey.  For  the  army  of  re- 
serve the  route  was  traced  from  Villeneuve,  at  the  end 
of  the  Lake  of  Geneva,  to  Aosta,  in  Piedmont,  the 
principal  halts  being  ]\Iartigny,  twenty-five  miles ; 
(Saint  Pierre,  twenty  miles ;  Etroubles,  twenty  miles, 
which  is  ten  miles  distant  from  Aosta.  Out  of  the 
whole  distance  ten  miles  was  across  a  mountain  track. 
The  first  corps  was  placed  under  Lannes,  the  second 
corps  under  Duhesme ;  the  cavalry  was  committed 
to  Murat,  the  artillery  to  Marmont. 

On  May  23  Bonaparte  reviewed  his  troops  at  Ville- 
neuve.  Here  he  received  bad  news  from  Genoa,  in 
which  city  Massena  was  blockaded  by  Melas,  while 
the  English  fleet  prevented  all  relief  by  sea.  Bona- 
parte answered  the  message :  "  Report  to  Massena 
that  vou  have  seen  me  close  to  the  Great  St.  Bernard. 
In  a  short  time  Italy  will  be  reconquered  and  Genoa 
delivered."  Two  hours  later  the  First  Consul  received 
the  welcome  announcement  that  Moreau  had  beaten 
Kray  at  Stokach.  The  rain  fell  in  torrents.  The 
new  shoes  delivered  at  Dijon  were  soon  worn  out. 
'"  Bare-foot  "  battalions  were  formed  by  soldiers,  who 
sang  gaily  as  they  marched,  and  promised  to  provide 
themselves  with  shoes  from  the  bodies  of  those  killed 
in  the  first  battle.  Bonaparte  now  returned  to  Lau- 
sanne, and  finally  reached  Martigny  on  Saturdav, 
May  27. 

The  advanced  guard  under  Lannes  marched 
merrily  on.  They  replied  to  a  heavy  thunderstorm 
by  sounding  the  charge;  when  up  to  their  knees  in  a 
marsh  they  sang  the  "  ^farseillaise."  The  houses 
were  for  the  most  part  deserted  by  their  inhabitants. 


THE  PASSAGE  OF  THE  GREAT  ST.  BERNARD.   5 

At  last  St.  Pierre  was  reached,  where  a  large  camp 
had  been  formed. 

Great  difficulties  were  foimd  in  the  transport  of 
the  artillery.  The  road  between  Martigny  and 
Orsieres  had  to  be  made  afresh.  In  some  places  no 
stone  was  to  be  found  and  the  trunks  of  trees  were 
used  instead.  Each  cannon  Avas  taken  to  pieces  and 
the  parts  were  numbered  in  legible  figures  in  yellow 
ochre.  A  number  of  pine  trees  were  cut  doA\m,  sawn 
asunder  and  hollowed  out.  The  gun  itself  was  de- 
posited in  the  hollow  tree,  the  carriage  was  secured 
between  planks  of  wood  six  inches  thick,  the  ramrods, 
sponges  and  other  implements  were  placed  in  another 
hollow  tree,  and  the  wheels  were  carried  bv  them- 
selves.  The  Avhole  mass  was  lashed  to  the  backs  of 
mules  and  thus  transported  in  safety.  Twenty-four 
pounds  were  paid  for  the  portage  of  an  entire  cannon 
to  the  Great  St.  Bernard,  and  the  peasants  did  their 
best  in  hope  of  reward.  The  transit  from  St.  Pierre 
to  the  Hospice,  a  distance  of  less  than  eight  miles, 
occupied  nine  hours.  The  artillery  was  drawn  up  in 
order  on  the  other  side  of  the  lake,  on  the  road  to  St. 
Pierre. 

Unfortunately  some  of  the  peasants  who  were  en- 
gaged in  hauling  the  artillery  were  frostbitten.  This 
deterred  others  from  following  their  example  and 
assistance  was  difficult  to  procure.  At  last  all  ob- 
stacles were  surmounted.  Although  the  line  of  march 
occupied  three  miles,  and  progress  was  impeded  by 
snowstorms  and  avalanches,  the  advanced  guard  under 
Lannes  at  length  reached  the  Hospice  with  cries  of 
"  Vive  Bonaparte  !  "  "  Vive  la  Rej)ublique !  "  The 
first  Prench  troops  had  arrived  at  the  Hospice  on  May 
15,  at  ten  o'clock  in  the  evening,  after  just  escaping 
destruction  by  an  avalanche.     The  monks  assisted  the 


G  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

"wounded,  and  t']ie  soldiers  slept  along  the  corridors 
on  straw.  Lannes  and  the  advanced  guard  made  their 
appearance  on  May  16.  The  brethren  recruited  the 
troops  witih  bread,  cheese  and  white  wine,  gave  fresh 
shoes  to  the  soldiers  whose  feet  were  bleeding,  and 
bandaged  the  wounded.  The  passage  of  fifty  thousand 
men  occupied,  as  may  be  imagined,  many  days.  Six- 
teen large  tables  were  spread  out  before  the  Hospice 
at  which  the  soldiers  could  refresh  themselves,  and 
wood  fires  w^ere  lighted  which  burned  day  and  night. 
Bonaparte  himself  crossed  before  the  rear-guard. 
His  countenance  was  sombre,  his  voice  harsh,  his 
every  word  sounded  like  a  command ;  he  rode  on  im- 
mersed in  thought.  The  expense  of  the  passage  to 
the  monks  was  nearly  a  thousand  pounds,  and  the 
debt  was  not  paid  till  several  years  had  passed. 

At  the  Hospice  Bonaparte  had  visited  the  library 
and  asked  for  a  copy  of  Livy  in  order  that  he  might 
study  the  description  of  Hannibal's  passage  of  the 
Alps,  the  only  enterprise  in  history  similar  to  his 
own.  On  Mav  21  he  arrived  at  Aosta  at  the  foot  of 
the  pass,  on  the  other  side.  The  march  of  the  army 
had  been  stopped  for  some  days  by  the  little  fort  of 
Bard,  which  commanded  the  road  to  Ivrea  and  the 
plains  of  Italy,  being  about  thirty  miles  distant  from 
Aosta.  It  was  only  possible  to  turn  it  by  climbing 
the  steep  hill  of  Albaredo,  which  was  impassable  for 
artillery.  Fifteen  hundred  sappers  were  employed 
in  making  a  passage.  In  the  more  difficult  places 
stairs  were  cut  in  the  rock,  walls  were  built  to  mask 
the  precipice  which  bordered  the  road,  bridges  were 
thrown  across  ravines,  and  at  length  the  cavalrv  were 
able  to  march  over  the  obstacle.  If  the  hill  had  been 
occupied  in  force  by  the  Austrians  the  French  army 
would  have  been  completely  stopped.     The  little  town 


THE  PASSAGE  OF  THE  GREAT  ST.  BERNARD.   7 

was  soon  wrested  from  the  enemv,  but  tlie  fort  still 
resisted  and  the  commandant  refused  to  capitulate. 
Bonaparte,  reaching  Bard  on  Mav  24,  found  that  if 
he  began  a  regular  siege,  he  could  only  reduce  the 
place  bv  famine,  and  the  garrison  was  provided  with 
food  and  water  for  six  months.  At  the  same  time  he 
determined  to  attack  the  fort  from  three  sides :  from 
Sonnaz  lower  down  the  river,  from  the  town  itself, 
and  from  the  other  side  of  the  stream.  All  brandies 
of  the  assault  were  repulsed,  two  hundred  men  were 
lost,  and  a  raft  which  was  crossing  the  river  was  sunk 
by  the  explosion  of  a  shell.  It  was  absolutely  neces- 
sary to  send  on  the  artillery  to  Lannes,  who  com- 
manded the  van-guard.  For  this  purpose  the  wheels 
of  the  gun  carriages  were  enveloped  in  hay  and  straw, 
the  road  along  the  river  was  covered  with  a  thick 
layer  of  dung,  and  fifty  trumpeters  were  sent  to  the 
summit  of  Albaredo  to  divert  attention.  Sixty  men 
were  harnessed  to  each  cannon,  and  a  reward  of 
twenty-four  pounds  was  promised  for  each  gun  which 
reached  Sonnaz  in  safety.  A  terrible  thunder- 
storm deluged  the  town  with  rain;  the  river  rose  in 
flood,  the  drums  and  trumpets  sounded  from  Albare- 
do and  caused  an  additional  bewilderment  to  the  gar- 
rison. The  men  dragging  the  guns  advanced  steadily 
and  in  good  order.  "When  it  was  too  late,  Bernkopf, 
the  commandant,  discovered  the  trick,  but  the  four- 
pounders  and  the  eight-pounders  were  already  out  of 
range,  and  his  muskets  only  inflicted  a  slight  loss  on 
the  rear-guard.  On  the  following  morning  tlie  hill 
of  Albaredo  was  passed  by  three  thousand  cavalry. 
Lannes  succeeded  in  enterina;  Ivrea  and  reviewed  his 
artillery.  In  the  middle  of  the  succeeding  night 
Bonaparte  crossed  the  Albaredo  on  foot.  The  fort 
of    Bard,   after    this    heroic   resistance,   eventuallv 


8  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

capitulated  on  June  3.  Bonaparte  had  already 
entered  ^lilan  on  the  evening  of  the  previous  day. 
Thus  had  the  difficulty  been  overcome  of  marching 
an  army  across  the  Alps,  when  the  enemy  was  not  even 
aware  of  its  existence,  and  when  that  army  was 
stopped  by  the  resistance  of  an  obstinate  fortress  in 
a  narrow  pass,  of  conveying  the  artillery  secretly  to 
the  advanced  guard,  and  eventually  securing  the 
passage  of  the  troops. 


THE  PREPARATION  FOR  MARENGO. 


CHAPTER  11. 

THE  PREPARATION  FOR  MARENGO. 

The  First  Consul  had  wished  to  enter  Milan  in 
triumph,  but  the  elements  were  opposed  to  him.  At 
Turbigo  he  mounted  a  golden  coach,  drawn  by  six 
white  horses,  but  on  the  way  a  terrible  storm  of  rain 
broke  through  the  roof  of  the  vehicle  and  deluged 
the  occupants ;  not  till  half-past  six  did  the  procession 
reach  the  gate.  The  streets  were  filled  with  people 
who  maintained  a  stubborn  silence;  they  believed 
that  the  real  Bonaparte  was  dead  or  was  a  prisoner  of 
the  English,  and  they  were  anxious  to  know  who  had 
taken  his  name.  He  found  in  the  streets  caricatures 
of  the  army  of  reserve,  which  was  now  conquering 
Lombardy,  representing  the  cavalry  as  mounted  on 
asses,  and  the  infantry  composed  of  decrepit  old  men 
and  children  playing  with  bayonets.  Bonaparte 
reported  to  Paris  that  Milan  had  greeted  him  with  a 
manifestation  spontaneous  and  touching.  One  of 
his  first  public  acts  was  to  order  the  completion  of 
the  cathedral,  the  marble  shrine  which  still  recalls  his 
genius  and  his  glory. 

On  June  5  Bonaparte  announced  the  re-establish- 
ment of  the  Cisalpine  Republic  and  his  own  devotion 
to  the  Roman  Catholic  religion ;  but  on  the  day  before 
Genoa,  defended  by  Massena  and  besieged  byMelas, 
had  capitulated  through  famine,  after  terrible  suf- 
ferings. It  has  been  said  that  Bonaparte  might  have 
relieved  Genoa  by  simpler  methods,  and  that  in  fol- 


10  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

lowiiic;  the  course  which  he  pursued  he  had  thought 
more  of  his  own  aggraudisement  than  of  anything 
else.  A  little  examination  will  show  that  this  charge 
was  unfounded,  and  that  Bonaparte  in  the  plan  of 
his  campaign  not  only  followed  the  dictates  of  pru- 
dence, but  left  an  example  to  all  students  of  the  art 
of  war. 

His  plan  was  that  while  Moreau,  operating  from 
the  Rhine,  attacked  the  Austrians  on  the  Danube,  the 
First  Consul  should  assail  them  in  Italy.  The  Aus- 
trians were  at  this  time  besieging  Genoa;  they  were 
occupying  all  the  passes  of  the  western  Alps,  and  they 
had  a  force  ready  to  cross  the  Var  into  France,  which 
was  defended  by  Suchet  wuth  inferior  numbers. 
Bonaparte  had  tw'O  objects  in  view:  to  relieve  Genoa 
and  to  deal  the  Austrians  a  decisive  blow.  He  saw, 
wuth  marvellous  sagacity,  that  if  he  occupied  the 
roads  between  Milan  and  Piacenza,  he  would  cut  the 
Austrians  from  their  base  of  operations,  deliver  Genoa 
and  force  them  to  a  decisive  action.  To  effect  this 
purpose  he  could  not  advance  along  the  sea-coast  be- 
cause he  w^ould  only  drive  the  Austrians  before  him. 
If  he  had  marched  to  Turin  across  the  Mont  Cenis, 
he  would  have  attacked  the  centre  of  the  Austrian 
line,  which  could  have  been  easily  reinforced  from 
either  side.  In  each  of  these  two  cases  the  Aus- 
trians would  interpose  betw^een  himself  and  his  object. 
Moreover,  he  had  formed  a  plan  that  a  part  of 
Moreau's  army,  after  effecting  its  object  in  Germany, 
should  recruit  his  somewhat  scanty  forces  in  Italy, 
and  to  meet  these  fresh  troops  he  must  not  separate 
himself  too  far  from  the  northern  passes  of  the  Alps. 
By  crossing  the  St.  Bernard  he  reached  Milan  by  the 
shortest  route  and  under  the  most  favourable  condi- 
tions.    The  fact  that  the  passage  \vas  difficult  and 


THE  PREPARATION  FOR  MARENGO.  H 

considered  impossible  favoured  his  designs.  He  ar- 
rived at  Milan  before  the  Austrians  knew  that  he  was 
in  Italy  at  all.  He  was  joined  in  the  capital  of  Lom- 
bardy  by  the  detachments  which  he  had  expected ; 
he  guarded  the  passes  of  the  Ticino  with  half  his 
forces,  and  with  the  rest  occupied  the  road  to  Pia- 
cenza.  He  lost  Genoa,  but  the  capture  of  that  city 
had  delayed  the  Austrians  so  as  to  deprive  them  of 
their  one  chance  of  escape.  Their  communications 
were  cut  off,  they  were  forced  to  fight  at  Marengo 
with  their  faces  to  their  line  of  retreat,  and  when  they 
were  defeated  nothing  remained  for  them  but  to 
capitulate. 

On  June  12  General  Moncey  arrived  from  Como. 
Having  waited  until  the  army  of  Moreau  was  on  the 
point  of  forcing  the  Austrian  General  Kray  as  far  as 
Ulm,  he  had  crossed  the  St.  Gothard  in  storms  of 
rain  and  had  driven  the  enemy  from  the  castle  of 
Bellinzona.  He  brought  to  Bonaparte  a  reinforce- 
ment of  well-seasoned  soldiers,  fifteen  thousand  in 
number.  Bonaparte  left  Milan  on  June  9,  at  eight 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  proceeded  to  Pavia.  On 
his  road  towards  the  Po  he  heard  the  sound  of  artil- 
lery from  morning  to  evening.  Xot  knowing  what 
had  occurred,  he  hastened  to  Stradella,  and  found  the 
fortress  full  of  wounded  soldiers.  It  was  Lannes, 
who  had  been  fighting  the  battle  of  Montebello  against 
the  Austrian  General  Ott,  who  had  commanded  in  the 
blockade  of  Genoa.  Lannes  had  crossed  the  Po  in 
spite  of  considerable  resistance  and  had  encamped  op- 
posite the  Austrian  army  which  occupied  ^rontebello 
and  Casteo'wio.  Lannes  had  not  intended  to  attack, 
and  was  waiting  for  reinforcements,  but  Ott  began 
the  battle  at  daybreak  with  a  force  of  at  least  fifteen 
thousand  men.     Lannes  had  onlv  half  that  number, 


12  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

but  he  fought  splendidly  and  was  aided  by  Victor, 
who  had  crossed  the  river  in  another  place.  The 
Austrians  struggled  with  desperation  to  regain  their 
communications  and  to  open  the  road  to  Mantua. 
When  Bonaparte  arrived  the  battle  was  already  won. 
The  enemy  had  lost  three  thousand  killed  and  six 
thousand  taken  prisoners.  Lannes  himself  was  drip- 
ping with  blood. 

The  next  three  days  Bonaparte  remained  at  Stra- 
della,  in  a  strong  position.  His  right  rested  on  the 
Po  and  the  marshy  flats  in  its  neighbourhood;  his 
centre  blocked  the  great  highway,  supported  by  large 
villages  and  solid  farmhouses  built  of  stone;  while 
his  left  was  posted  on  the  gentle  elevations  which 
make  the  defile  of  Stradella  famous  in  military  his- 
tory. On  the  11th  Desaix,  who  was  returning  from 
Egypt,  and  who  had  lost  a  week  in  quarantine  at  Tou- 
lon, arrived  at  headquarters  with  Savary  and  Eapp  as 
his  aides-de-camp.  He  and  the  First  Consul  dined  to- 
gether and  spent  the  night  in  talking  over  the  affairs 
of  Egypt.  Desaix  Avas  burning  to  distinguish  him- 
self and  to  avenge  himself  for  the  insults  which  ho 
had  suffered  from  Admiral  Keith  at  Leghorn.  He 
was  placed  in  command  of  the  second  division.  At 
the  same  time  he  had  the  presentiment  of  death.  He 
said  to  Eugene  Beauharnais :  "  The  Austrian  balls 
knew  me  once,  but  I  am  afraid  that  they  will  recog- 
nise me  no  more." 

Bonaparte  was  determined  to  advance.  He  was  only 
afraid  lest  Melas  should  escape  him.  He  reached 
Voghera  early  on  the  morning  of  June  12.  The  Scri- 
via  was  crossed  on  the  following  day.  On  the  same 
morning  Bonaparte  arrived  at  San  Giuliano  and  saw 
before  him  the  plains  of  Marengo. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  MARENGO.  13 


CHAPTER  III. 
THE  BATTLE  OF  MABENGO. 

BoNAPAKTE  had  expected  to  find  the  whole  of  the 
Austrian  army  ranged  in  battle  array  before  him. 
When  no  one  came  to  oppose  him  he  supposed  that 
Melas  had  retreated  to  Genoa,  and  gave  orders  to 
Desaix  to  proceed  to  Rivalta,  to  send  scouts  as  far  as 
Novi,  and  to  watch  the  communications  of  the  enemy 
with  the  southern  coast.  At  last  he  discovered  the 
Austrian  advanced  guard  at  Marengo,  and  gave 
Victor  orders  to  attack  and  to  drive  the  Austrians 
across  the  Bormida. 

Melas  had  held  a  council  of  war  in  Alessandria 
on  June  12,  in  which  he  explained  the  condition  of 
affairs  to  his  brother  generals.  He  said  that  the  Aus- 
trian cavalry  was  excellent,  their  artillery  superior 
to  that  of  the  enemy ;  that  the  plain  between  the  Bor- 
mida and  the  Scrivia  was  exactly  suited  for  an  en- 
gagement under  these  conditions,  and  that  they  had 
every  chance  of  victory.  The  Austrians  numbered 
30,837  men,  of  whom  7,343  were  cavalry,  and  they 
had  92  guns  in  reserve,  besides  the  ordinary  artillery 
of  the  line.  Ott,  in  command  of  the  left,  was  to  at- 
tack the  French  at  Sale,  the  centre  was  to  advance 
first  to  Marengo  and  then  to  San  Giuliano,  then  to 
move  towards  the  left  and  to  press  the  French  at  Sale 
both  in  flank  and  rear.  If  these  operations  suc- 
ceeded the  enemy  would  be  driven  back  upon  the  Po 
and  the  Austrians  might  recover  their  communica- 


14  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

tions.  If  Ott  found  the  force  opposed  to  liim  too 
strong  he  was  to  retire  behind  the  Bormida.  A 
strong  bridge-head  was  formed  on  the  Bormida,  and 
two  bridges  of  boats  were  thrown  across  the  stream. 
Evei-ything  was  done  to  rouse  the  spirits  of  the  Aus- 
trian army  and  to  supply  their  material  needs. 

The  decisive  battle  of  Marengo  was  fought  on  June 
14,  1800.  At  eight  in  the  morning  the  Austrians 
crossed  the  Bormida  by  their  two  bridges  in  excellent 
order.  O'Beilly  drove  back  the  French  advanced 
guard  under  Gardanne  into  the  valley  of  Marengo, 
and  there  w^aited  until  Iladdick  and  Keim  had  been 
able  to  come  up.  But  the  passage  through  the 
bridge-head  was  narrow  and  the  Austrians  were  com- 
pelled to  move  slowly.  General  Ott,  according  to 
the  plan  which  had  been  arranged,  moved  on  theleft 
towards  Ceriolo  Avith  the  view  of  outflanking  the 
French.  General  Victor  did  his  best  to  maintain 
possession  of  Marengo,  and  informed  the  First  Con- 
sul that  the  whole  of  the  Austrian  army  was  before 
him. 

In  front  of  Marengo  flows  a  deep  and  marshy 
brook,  the  Fontanone,  which,  after  many  windings, 
pours  its  M-aters  into  the  Tanaro.  The  hardest 
struggles  took  place  upon  the  banks  of  this  stream, 
between  Eivaud  and  Haddick,  who  was  severely 
wounded.  Melas  sent  reinforcements  to  the  relief 
of  Iladdick,  and  the  Austrians  attacked  a  second  time, 
but  were  again  repulsed.  An  attempt  w^as  made  by 
Piladi  to  cross  the  brook  further  to  the  south,  but 
he  was  driven  back  by  Kellermann,  the  hero  of 
Valmy,  with  great  loss.  Melas  now  put  forth  all 
his  strength.  Lattermann  was  able  to  traverse  the 
brook  with  his  grenadiers  and  to  maintain  himself 
upon  the  right  bank.       After  a  murderous  conflict 


THE  BATTLE  OF  MARENGO.  15 

the  village  of  Marengo  came  into  the  posession  of  the 
Austrians.  They  had  met  with  equal  success  upon 
the  left.  Ott  had  been  able  to  reach  Castel  Ceriolo, 
his  point  of  attack,  and  had  outflanked  the  corps  of 
Lannes,  who  had  been  compelled  to  retreat.  It  was 
now  ten  in  the  morning.  After  a  two  hours' 
struggle  the  Austrians  had  conquered  and  the  French 
had  given  wav.  The  battle-field  was  strewn  with 
dead  and  wounded. 

At  this  juncture  Bonaparte  appeared  upon  the 
field  with  his  consular  guard,  composed  of  eight  hun- 
dred grenadiers  on  foot  and  two  hundred  on  horse- 
back, distinguished  by  lofty  bearskins,  encircling  the 
man  whose  presence  alone  was  worth  an  army.  Early 
in  the  morning  he  had  sent  an  order  to  Desaix  to 
return  as  soon  as  possible,  and  had  received  an  an- 
swer that  he  would  collect  the  division  Boudet,  and 
be  at  San  Giuliano  by  four  in  the  afternoon.  Bona- 
parte in  the  meantime,  surrendering  the  high-road 
between  Marengo  and  San  Giuliano,  drew  his  troops 
off  to  the  right,  so  as  to  secure  his  retreat  upon  Pavia, 
and  be  on  the  flank  of  the  Austrians  should  they  at- 
tack.  He  refused  to  acknoAvledge  defeat  and  pre- 
pared for  the  possibility  of  victory. 

The  grenadiers  of  the  consular  guard  held  firm 
countenance  against  the  dragoons  of  Lobkowitz,  and 
the  division  of  Monnier  was  sent  to  retake  Castel 
Ceriolo.  The  division  of  Victor,  shattered  in  the  first 
engagement,  was  re-formed  anew,  and  ordered  to  press 
forward  on  the  left  wing.  The  battle  began  with 
fresh  furv,  and  a^ain  with  advantaa:e  to  the  Aus- 
trians.  The  French  were  again  driven  out  of  Castel 
Ceriolo;  all  efforts  to  capture  Marengo  were  fruit- 
less. In  the  general  confusion  the  consular  guard, 
with  their  lofty  bearskins,  stood  like  a  fortress  amidst 


16  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY.  \ 

the  shocks  of  the  cavalry.  But  Melas  made  a  desper- 
ate sortie  from  Marengo,  and  the  French  columns 
could  no  longer  stand  before  him.  The  only  hope  of 
Bonaparte  lay  in  the  arrival  of  Desaix,  and  until  he 
arrived  there  was  no  resource  but  in  retreat. 

Melas  now  thought  that  the  victory  was  sure.  He 
was  wounded  in  two  places,  and  two  horses  had  been 
shot  under  him,  so  he  retired  into  the  fortress  of  Ales- 
sandria, leaving  to  General  Zach,  the  chief  of  his  staff, 
the  duty  of  pursuing  the  French.  He  next  sent 
couriers  in  all  directions  to  announce  his  victory  and 
the  defeat  of  Xapoleon.  Zach  formed  his  troops  in 
a  single  column,  with  two  regiments  of  infantry  in 
the  van,  then  the  grenadiers,  and  the  baggage  in  the 
rear.  He  marched  along  the  high-road  from  Maren- 
go to  San  Giuliano,  believing  himself  secure  from 
further  attack,  his  left  protected  by  O'Reilly,  his 
right  by  Keim  and  Haddick. 

About  five  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  or,  according  to 
Bonaparte,  about  three,  Desaix  arrived.  He  had 
turned  back  at  the  sound  of  the  cannon,  even  before 
the  orderlies  despatched  by  the  First  Consul  had 
reached  him,  and  had  marched  all  day  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Marengo.  As  soon  as  he  reached  San  Giu- 
liano he  rushed  to  his  commander-in-chief,  while  the 
guards  formed  a  circle  around  them.  Bonaparte  ex- 
plained the  position  of  things.  Desaix  gazed  upon 
the  field  covered  with  dead  and  wounded,  and  said, 
"  Yes,  the  battle  is  certainly  lost,  but  it  is  only  just 
five  o'clock  and  there  is  time  to  win  another."  De- 
saix' body  of  six  thousand  fresh  troops  was  dra\vn  up 
on  the  Marengo  road  to  oppose  the  Austrians,  who 
were  prevented  from  seeing  them  by  the  sinuosities 
of  the  ground.  Bonaparte  massed  his  own  troops  on 
the  left  in  order  to  attack  the  Austrian  flank. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  MARENGO.  17 

The  Austrians  were  marching,  in  all  the  confi- 
dence of  victory,  with  bands  playing  and  colours 
flying,  when  Marmont  received  them  unexpectedly 
with  a  hail  of  bullets  from  a  battery  of  twelve  guns. 
At  the  same  moment  Desaix'  soldiers  fired  a  volley 
which  was  vigorously  returned.  A  ball  struck 
Desaix  in  the  back  of  the  head  and  killed  him  im- 
mediately. He  fell  without  a  word.  The  Austrians, 
disordered  by  this  unexpected  onslaught,  wavered 
and  retreated  on  the  second  line.  The  grenadiers  of 
Lattermann  attempted  to  make  a  stand,  but  were 
thrown  into  disorder  by  Kellermann  on  the  left.  The 
column  was  cut  in  two,  and  two  thousand  Austrians 
were  taken  prisoners,  amongst  them  General  Zach, 
who  was  now  chief  in  command.  There  was  no  one 
to  give  orders,  as  Mclas  remained  in  Alessandria, 
believing  that  he  had  gained  a  victory.  The  defeat 
of  the  Austrians  was  consummated  by  Lannes,  and 
the  whole  line  of  the  French  advanced  victoriously 
forward.  Saint  Cyr  retook  Ceriolo ;  the  Austrians 
were  seized  with  a  panic ;  Ott  had  great  difficulty  in 
gaining  the  bridge  over  the  Bormida.  The  troops  of 
Keim  and  Iladdick  were  swept  away,  first  over  the 
Fontanone,  then  across  the  Bormida. 

Melas,  roused  from  his  dream  by  the  thunder  of 
the  cannon,  Avhich  came  nearer  and  nearer  to  his  city 
of  refuge,  rode  to  the  banks  of  the  stream  and  beheld 
with  astonishment  his  glorious  victory  turned  into  a 
terrible  defeat.  The  Austrians  had  the  greatest  diffi- 
culty in  making  any  resistance.  The  bridge  across 
the  river  was  very  narrow,  and  guns,  cavalry,  in- 
fantry, waggons,  were  all  mixed  in  inextricable  con- 
fusion. Many  pieces  of  artillery  were  lost  in  the 
muddy  bed  of  the  stream.  The  pursuit  of  the  French 
Avas  only  put  an  end  to  by  the  darkness.  It  was 
2 


18  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

iiiii'lit    before    Ott    crossed    the    Bormida    to    his 
camp. 

The  Aiistrians  lost  eight  thousand  dead  and 
wonndcd  and  four  thousand  prisoners;  the  French, 
six  thousand  dead  and  wounded  and  one  thousand 
prisoners.  But  the  death  of  Desaix  outweighed  all 
the  rest  to  Bonaparte.  Savary  was  sent  to  find  him 
in  order  that  Bonaparte  might  embrace  him  on  the 
battle-field,  but  he  only  found  his  corpse,  stripped  of 
the  uniform,  but  recognisable  by  the  long  hair  and 
the  wounds.  It  was  brought  on  a  horse's  back  to 
headquarters,  and  Bonaparte  wept  over  it.  Orders 
were  given  that  his  body  should  be  embalmed.  I^Text 
day  at  daybreak  it  ^Tas  sent  to  Milan  in  a  peasant's 
cart,  and  was  buried  in  the  convent  of  Sant'  Angelo. 
In  June,  1806,  his  remains  were  transferred  to  the 
monastery  of  the  Great  St.  Bernard,  where  thev  still 
repose.  At  his  funeral  Berthier  said:  ''  Here  is  the 
man  whom  the  East  saluted  by  the  name  of  Just,  his 
country  by  the  name  of  Brave,  his  generation  by  the 
name  of  Wise,  and  whom  Xaj^oleon  now  honours 
with  a  monument." 

At  daybreak  on  the  following  morning  Melas  sent 
to  propose  a  suspension  of  arms,  and  a  convention 
was  signed  by  which  the  French  obtained  possession 
of  the  whole  of  Xorth  Italy  as  far  as  the  Mincio,  in- 
cluding the  fortresses  of  Liguria,  Piedmont,  Lom- 
bardy  and  the  Legations,  Melas  being  permitted  to 
Uptire  to  Mantua. 

On  June  10  Bonaparte  reviewed  his  troops  at  San 
Gduliano,  the  soldiers  being  decorated  with  oak 
leaves.  On  the  following  day  he  returned  to  Milan, 
and  on  June  18,  just  fifteen  years  before  the  battle 
of  Waterloo,  his  triumph  was  celebrated  by  a  solemn 
Te   Deum   in   the   Cathedral.      Ten   days   later   he 


THE  BATTLE  OF  MARENGO.  I9 

arrived  at  Paris,  having  in  the  meantime  declared 
the  re-establishment  of  the  Cisalpine  Republic. 

There  are  certain  similarities  between  the  battle 
of  Marengo  and  the  battle  of  Waterloo.  Jnst  as 
Wellington  waited  anxiously  for  the  arrival  of  Blii- 
cher  to  give  him  the  victory,  so  Bonaparte  waited  for 
the  coming  of  Desaix,  and  just  as  Wellington  was 
surprised  by  the  sudden  inroad  of  Napoleon  at 
Charleroi,  so  Bonaparte  was  surprised  to  find  the 
whole  Austrian  army  arrayed  against  him  on  the 
Bormida.  At  the  same  time,  if  Grouchy  had  pos- 
sessed the  qualities  of  Desaix  and,  instead  of  partly 
misinterpreting  and  partly  obeying  too  strictly  some- 
what dubious  orders,  had  marched  to  the  sound  of 
the  cannon,  the  issue  of  that  momentous  field  might 
have  been  diflFerent  and  the  course  of  the  world's  his- 
tory have  been  changed. 


20     •  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEE  IV. 

I^IOREAU. 

"We  must  now  consider  with  what  success  Morean 
was  conducting  liis  part  of  tlie  operations.  Bona- 
parte naturally  desired  for  the  success  of  his  own 
plans  that  the  attack  against  Kray  in  Germany 
should  be  made  in  the  most  decisive  manner.  He 
wished  to  concentrate  the  French  armv  between 
Schaffhausen  and  the  Lake  of  Constance,  and  to 
break  the  Austrian  communications  at  Ulm.  But 
Moreau  was  afraid  of  so  bold  a  scheme  and  adopted 
a  more  timid  course.  He  dreaded  the  possibility  of 
having  to  cross  the  Rhine  in  the  face  of  a  large  body  of 
the  enemy  and  adopted  various  devices  to  deceive  the 
Austrians  as  to  the  real  motive  of  his  plans.  Bona- 
parte did  not  insist  upon  his  own  views,  thinking  it 
unwise  to  force  upon  a  general  charged  with  the  con- 
duct of  a  campaign  a  plan  different  from  that  wdiich 
the  general  had  himself  originated,  even  though  it 
should  be  decidedly  superior. 

^Morean  crossed  the  Bhine  at  several  points, 
joined  with  the  army  of  Lecourbe,  and  defeating 
Kray  in  a  number  of  engagements  at  Engen, 
Stockach  and  ^^losskirch,  drove  him  towards  the 
Danube.  The  famous  fortress  of  Hohentwiel,  which 
had  hohl  out  for  so  many  years  in  the  Thirty  Years' 
War,  was  now  surrendered  by  the  incompetence  of 
the  commandant  and  razed  by  the  French  to  the 
ground.     There  was  much  jealousy  between  Moreau 


MOREAU.  21 

and  his  subordinate  St.  Cjr,  and  the  effect  of  this  was 
that  the  battle  of  Mosskirch  was  less  decisive  than  it 
would  otherwise  have  been.  But  St.  Cyr  regained 
his  reputation  by  his  conduct  at  Biberach  and  on  the 
Mettenberg,  where  he  induced  Kray  to  believe  that 
he  was  opposed  by  the  whole  of  the  French  army  and 
frightened  him  into  a  retreat  to  the  Iller  and  to  the 
lines  of  Ulm.  The  Austrians  lost  so  many  men  m 
these  continued  engagements  that  their  numbers  were 
very  little  superior  to  those  of  the  French,  although 
Moreau  had,  as  we  have  already  seen,  detached  a 
body  of  sixteen  thousand  troops  under  Moncey  to  as- 
sist Bonaparte. 

Moreau  put  into  action  every  device  to  allure  Kray 
from  his  defensive  position  before  Ulm,  but  without 
effect.  At  last  marching  down  the  Danube,  he 
crossed  it  at  Donauworth,  and  occupying  the  famous 
battle-fields  of  Blenheim  and  Ilochstiidt,  threatened 
the  communications  of  Kray  with  his  own  country. 
The  effect  of  this  was  to  drive  Kray  towards  the 
north.  In  the  battle  of  Neuburg,  fought  on  June  28, 
the  brave  Latour  d'Auvergne,  who  had  been  called  by 
Bonaparte  the  first  grenadier  of  France,  was  fatally 
pierced  by  the  lance  of  an  Austrian  Uhlan.  The 
whole  army  wore  mourning  for  three  days  in  his 
honour.  Every  soldier  contributed  a  day's  wage  to 
provide  a  silver  urn  in  which  his  heart  might  be  en- 
shrined. When  the  roll  of  his  regiment  was  called 
the  name  of  Latour  d'Auvergne  was  always  recited 
first,  and  a  sergeant  answered  for  him,  "  Fallen  on 
the  field  of  honour,"  a  practice  which  lasted  down  to 
1814.  Moreau  erected  a  monument  on  the  place 
where  he  fell  which  he  placed  under  the  protection  of 
"  The  Brave  of  every  Xation."  In  July  the  French 
reached  the  line  of  the  Isar,  and  spread  themselves 


22  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

over  Bavaria,  wliile  Kray  occupied  the  line  of  the 
Inn.  Both  armies  needed  repose.  The  armistice 
of  Parsdorf  was  signed  on  July  15,  the  effect  of 
which  was  to  leave  Sonthern  Germany  in  the  hands  of 
the  French  for  an  indefinite  period.  The  armistice 
of  Alessandria  had  heeii  signed  just  a  month  before. 

Bonaparte  used  tliis  breathing  space  to  strengthen 
his  forces  both  in  Italy  and  Southern  Germany.  He 
formed  a  second  army  of  reserve  under  Macdonald, 
which  was  to  operate  in  Eastern  Switzerland,  and  to 
leave  Moreau  free  to  employ  his  whole  strength  upon 
the  Isar  and  the  Inn.  The  government  of  Vienna 
did  not,  on  their  side,  neglect  their  opportunities. 
They  restored  confidence  to  the  troops  by  recalling 
the  incompetent  Generals  Kray  and  Melas.  The 
Emperor  went  in  person  to  tlie  army  of  the  Inn,  and 
after  encouraging  his  soldiers,  left  his  brother  Arch- 
duke John  in  command. 

The  operations  of  the  Austrians  M'cre  slower  than 
those  of  the  E'rench,  and  the  English  subsidies  were 
grudgingly  contributed ;  negotiations  for  peace  be- 
tween Austria  and  France  had  no  effect,  even  if  they 
were  seriously  meant,  and  there  was  no  resource  for 
the  Emperor  but  to  purchase  a  breathing  space  by 
further  sacrifices.  On  September  20  the  convention 
of  Holienlinden  prolonged  the  convention  of  Pars- 
dorf for  a  few  \veeks  by  the  surrender  of  the 
fortresses  of  Philipsburg,  Ulm,  and  Ingoldstadt.  The 
court  of  Vienna  was  anxious  for  peace.  The  opinion 
prevailed  that  they  were  dragged  at  the  wheels  of 
England  and  were  prevented  from  concluding  a  peace 
witli  France  which  would  make  for  their  interests. 
Thugut,  who  was  the  founder  and  the  sustainer  of  the 
coalition,  had  to  bear  the  brunt  of  this  obloquy.  He 
"was  allowed  to  resign  his  office,  but  Cobeutzl  and 


MOREAU.  23 

Lehnbach  a\^io  succeeded  him  pursued  a  similar 
policy.  Still,  negotiations  were  begun  at  Luneville, 
which  had  been  chosen  as  the  seat  of  a  new  congress. 
Joseph  Bonai3arte  and  Cobentzl  met  at  Luneville 
on  iSTovember  9,  and  the  French  plenipotentiary 
asked  the  following  questions:  Are  you  empowered 
to  make  a  treaty  'I  Are  you  empowered  to  do  so 
without  the  co-operation  of  England  ?  Are  you 
acting  only  for  the  Emperor  personally  and  for  his 
Austrian  possessions,  or  are  you  representing  the 
German  Empire  ?  Cobentzl  replied  that  he  could 
sign  no  treaty  except  with  the  intervention  of  an 
English  envoy.  But  he  went  on  to  ask  whether  the 
secrecy  of  the  French  government  could  be  trusted, 
and  was  assured  that  it  could  be.  He  then  said  that 
Austria  would  be  prepared  to  make  a  separate  peace 
without  England  if  the  negotiations  could  be  kept 
secret  till  February  1,  1807,  and  if  an  English  envoy 
might  be  present  at  Luneville  to  cover  the  negotia- 
tions. Bonaparte  replied  that  he  would  have  no  Eng- 
lishman at  Luneville,  that  Austria  had  the  choice 
either  of  war  within  forty-eight  hours,  or  of  peace  on 
the  following  conditions:  (1)  The  Rhine  to  be  the 
frontier  of  France.  (2)  The  Mincio  to  be  the  frontier 
of  Austria  and  Italy,  but  Mantua  to  be  surrendered 
to  the  Cisalpine  Republic.  (3)  The  Milanese,  the 
Valtelline,  Parma  and  Modena  to  belong  to  the  Cis- 
alpine  Republic.  (4)  The  Legations  to  go  to  the 
Grand  Duke  of  Tuscany.  (5)  Piedmont,  Switzer- 
land and  Genoa  to  be  independent.  If  these  condi- 
tions were  accepted  the  whole  negotiation  should  be 
kept  secret  till  the  time  named,  and  the  armistice 
should  continue.  The  Austrians  rejected  these  terms 
and  hostilities  were  renewed  on  Xovember  22. 


24  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  V. 

H  O  H  E  N  L  I  X  D  E  JT. 

WiiEx  the  war  broke  out  again,  after  the  deter- 
mination of  the  armistice,  Bonaparte  had  four  hun- 
dred thousand  men  under  arms,  including  the  forces 
in  Egypt.  Twelve  thousand  French  and  eight  thou- 
sand Dutch  were  posted  under  command  of  Augereau 
between  the  Rhine  and  the  Main,  to  protect  the  left 
flank  of  !^Ioroau's  army,  who  lay  with  one  hundred 
and  ten  thousand  men  between  tlie  Inn  and  the  Isar, 
having  his  headquarters  in  Munich.  Macdonald  com- 
manded fifteen  thousand  men  in  the  Orisons,  Brune 
eighty  thousand  on  the  Mincio.  Besides  thistherewere 
eiglit  thousand  French  soldiers  in  Tuscany,  and  twelve 
thousand  in  the  north  of  Italy.  The  Austrian  army 
was  inferior  to  the  French  both  in  numbers  and  in 
quality.  It  was  not  till  November  IT  that  Moreau 
announced  that  hostilities  would  recommence  on  the 
2.Stli.  This  left  no  time  to  draw  troops  from  Hun- 
gary and  Bohemia.  It  is  probable  that,  all  told,  the 
forces  of  the  Emperor  did  not  exceed  three  hundred 
thousand  men. 

The  fortune  of  war  was  to  be  decided  between  the 
Inn  and  tllie  Isar.  The  line  of  the  Inn  was  easy  to 
defend,  but  the  Austriaus  conceived  tlie  unlucky 
scheme  of  leaving  their  safe  position,  turning  the  left 
flank  of  the  French  and  attacking  them  in  the  rear,  in 
order  to  drive  ]\roreau  back  upon  the  Lech.  In  an- 
swer to  this,  he  commanded  an  advance  from  Rosen- 


HOHENLINDEN.  25 

heim  to  Milhldorf,  in  order  to  discover  the  plans  of 
his  adversary.  On  the  two  last  days  of  November 
the  two  armies  came  into  conflict.  Moreau  pushed 
his  right  wing  under  Lecourbe  to  Kosenheim,  his 
centre  to  Wasserburg,  and  his  left  to  Ampiing.  The 
Austrians,  who  were  further  in  advance  with  their 
right  wing,  at  first  determined  to  give  battle,  but, 
frightened  by  the  difficulties  of  the  roads,  by  the 
heavy  rain  and  the  news  of  Moreau's  advance,  they 
altered  their  plans  and  marched  through  the  valley 
of  the  Isar  towards  Hohenlinden.  This  compelled  the 
left  wing  of  the  French  to  retreat,  an  operation  in 
which  ^ej  greatly  distinguished  himself  hj  his  cool- 
ness and  bravery. 

As  soon  as  Moreau  became  fully  aware  of  the  de- 
signs of  the  enemy  he  led  his  armv  on  December  2 
into  the  broad  forests  which  surround  Hohenlinden, 
where  they  were  safe  from  observation.  On  the  fol- 
lowing day  the  Austrians  were  marching  up  the  val- 
ley of  the  Isar  and  were  on  the  road  from  Miihldorf  to 
Hohenlinden.  It  v/as  on  this  memorable  scene,  an 
open  space  in  the  middle  of  thick  woods,  that  the  de- 
cisive struggle  must  be  fought.  Moreau  gave  orders, 
the  night  before,  to  Richepanse  and  Decaen  to  march 
by  side-paths  through  the  forest  of  Ebersberg  and  to 
fall  upon  the  Austrians  at  Mattenbott,  as  they  were 
approaching  Hohenlinden  in  a  long  thin  line  through 
the  wood.  The  Austrians  had  very  imperfect  know- 
ledge of  the  country  in  which  they  were  engaged,  and 
were  still  more  ignorant  of  the  position  of  the  French. 
It  was  the  middle  of  winter.  A  heavy  snowstorm 
blinded  their  eyes,  and  hid  everything  from  them  even 
at  a  short  distance.  The  roads,  bad  at  the  best  of 
times,  were  rendered  impassable  by  melting  sleet,  and 
by  a  combination  of  snow  and  rain.     The  Austrian 


26  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

columns  were  separated  from  each  other  in  the  for- 
est, and  reached  Hohenlinden  without  the  slightest 
idea  that  they  would  find  the  French  ready  to  meet 
them  in  battle  array. 

The  battle  soon  raged  with  fury.  The  Austrians, 
as  soon  as  they  had  disengaged  themselves  from  the 
toils  of  the  forest,  attacked  with  vigour.  Moreau 
watched  the  struggle  with  the  eye  of  a  master,  and 
when  he  saw  the  Austrian  line  wavering  he  cried, 
"  Now  is  the  time  to  advance ;  Richepanse  and  De- 
caen  must  be  harassing  their  rear."  The  Austrians 
were  driven  back  into  the  wood,  and  the  attack  of 
Eichcpanse  andDecaenwas  as  unexpected  as  his  own. 
Indeed  the  cuirassiers  had  dismounted  and  were  lead- 
ing their  horses  by  the  bridle.  Owing  to  the  state  of 
the  roads  the  artillery  could  not  be  brought  into  ac- 
tion. Infantry  and  cavalry  were  mingled  in  hideous 
confusion.  Some  detachments  fought  heroically  to 
the  death,  others  offered  no  resistance  and  surren- 
dered themselves  as  prisoners ;  they  threw  their  arms 
away  and  fled  into  the  wood  for  safety.  Ney  and 
Richepanse,  pressing  in  from  different  sides,  at  length 
met  and  embraced  each  other,  beside  themselves  with 
joy.  The  left  wing  of  the  French  was  not  less  suc- 
cessful, and  the  victory  was  complete.  Seven  thou- 
sand men  had  fallen,  twelve  thousand  were  taken 
prisoners.  Such  was  the  battle  of  Hohenlinden, 
immortalised  by  the  verse  of  Campbell. 

The  Austrians  found  it  more  difficult  to  get  out  of 
the  wood  than  they  had  to  enter  it.  Their  first  rest- 
ing-place was  the  Inn,  which  however  was  crossed  by 
the  French  on  December  9.  They  were  now  obliged 
to  retire  to  the  line  of  the  Salzach,  which  was  incapa- 
ble of  defence.  The  retreat  was  disastrous,  prisoners 
were  made,   and  gunpowder  and  guns  captured  at 


S.\tuL,hj>S    I..   K-MlKRoK  Ol    THE  FRENCH. 


I 


HOHENLINDEN.  27 

every  step.  On  December  20  the  French  army  was 
preparing  to  cross  the  Enns,  and  Vienna  itself 
seemed  to  be  in  danger. 

The  Archdnke  Charles  now  hastened  to  save  the 
defeated  army  from  destruction.  He  wept  when  he 
saw  the  extent  of  the  disaster.  He  sent  to  demand  an 
armistice,  and  Moreau  accorded  one  for  forty-eight 
hours.  ]yioreau  was  pressed  by  his  generals  to  ad- 
vance to  Vienna,  but  he  replied :  "  It  is  better  to  con- 
quer peace  than  the  capital.  I  have  no  news  from 
Macdonald  or  Brune.  I  do  not  know  whether  the 
one  has  succeeded  in  marching  into  the  Tyrol,  or 
whether  the  other  has  crossed  the  Mincio.  Augereau 
is  a  long  w'ay  off  and  is  entirely  undefended.  I  do 
not  wish  to  humiliate  the  Austrians  or  to  drive  them 
to  despair.  It  is  better  to  rest  now  and  to  content 
ourselves  with  the  peace  which  is  the  object  of  every 
war." 

The  result  was  the  conclusion  of  an  armistice, 
which  included  Macdonald  and  Brune.  The  whole 
of  the  Danube  vallev  and  the  Tvrol  was  surrendered 
to  the  French,  as  well  as  the  fortresses  of  Braunau, 
Wiirzburg,  Scharnitz  and  Kufstein.  The  Austrian 
magazines  were  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  con- 
querors. iSTo  reinforcements  were  to  be  sent  to 
Italy  unless  the  generals  commanding  there  refused 
to  accept  the  armistice.  The  convention  was  signed 
on  Christmas  Day. 

Before  hostilities  came  to  an  end  in  Italy  Mae- 
donald  had  accomplished  his  marvellous  passage  of 
the  Spliigen,  an  exploit  even  more  extraordinary 
than  the  passage  of  the  Great  St.  Bernard  by  Bona- 
parte, because  it  was  undertaken  in  the  middle  of 
winter  over  a  far  more  difficult  pass.  Macdonald 
was  posted  in  the  Grisons  with  fifteen  thousand  men 


28  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

and  received  orders  to  threaten  the  rear  of  the  Im- 
perial army  on  the  ]\Iincio  while  Brune  attacked  in 
front.  lie  was  ordered  to  pass  the  Spliigen  for  this 
pnrpose,  and  was  so  impressed  with  the  difficnlty  and 
danger  that  he  sent  Mathieu  I3nmas  to  Paris  to  ask 
the  opinion  of  Bonaparte.  lie  replied  that  the 
passage  was  absolntely  necessary  for  the  success  of 
liis  plans,  and  that  an  army  could,  move  anywhere 
at  any  season  of  the  year — wherever,  indeed,  two 
men  could  ])laee  their  feet.  Macdouald  nerved  him- 
self for  the  effort.  Setting  out  from  Thusis  on 
N"ovember  21,  the  rear-guard  reached  the  village  of 
Spliigen  in  five  days.  The  guns  were  conveyed  on 
sledges  (it  is  needless  to  say  that  the  present  magnifi- 
cent road  across  the  pass  did  not  exist),  the  muni- 
tions of  war  on  mules.  Every  soldier  had  to  carry 
provisions  and  ammunition  for  five  days. 

The  day  after  their  arrival  at  Spliigen  a  terrible 
blizzard  broke  over  the  pass  and  lasted  for  three 
davs.  To  ao  forward  meant  death  bv  avalanche ;  to 
reinain,  death  by  starvation.  The  poles,  which  mark 
the  road,  had  been  blown  down,  but  Macdouald,  staff 
in  hand,  led  the  way.  At  length  they  reached  the 
Hospice.  j\Iore  than  a  hundred  soldiers  and  as 
many  mules  lav  buried  in  the  snow,  and  manv  of 
those  who  survived  were  frost-bitten.  Chiavenna 
was  at  last  attained,  on  December  G.  The  march 
was  pursued  partly  by  the  Valtelline  over  the  passes 
of  Aprica  and  Touale  to  Trent,  and  partly  by  the 
Eno-adine  into  the  Austrian  vallev  of  the  Inn.  The 
operations  were  closed  by  the  armistice  of  Treviso, 
signed  on  Januarv  10,  1801,  whicli  immediatelv 
preceded,  the  peace  of  Luneville,  signed  on  Febru- 
ary 9. 


PART  TWO. 

THE  WAR  OF  THE  THIED  COALITIOX. 


CHAPTER  VI. 

THE    I^fVASIOIS"    OF    ENGLAND. 

Napoleon  was  croAvncd  Emperor  on  December  2, 
ISO-i.  The  answer  to  this  new  assumption  of  power 
was  the  armed  rising  of  Europe  against  him,  under 
the  leadership  of  England,  which  is  generally  known 
as  the  Third  Coalition.  Sfapoleon  hoped  to  antici- 
pate the  military  measures  of  the  continent  by  strik- 
ing a  fatal  blow  at  the  power  of  England.  He  said 
to  Cambaceies:  ''Put  confidence  in  me,  put  confi- 
dence in  my  activity.  I  shall  astonish  Europe  by 
the  fury  and  swiftness  of  my  attacks." 

Xapoleon  had  collected  one  hundred  and  fifty  thou- 
sand chosen  troops  on  the  Erench  shores  of  the  Chan- 
nel. For  two  years  and  a  half  ho  had  practised  them 
in  embarkation  and  disembarkation,  and  had  taught 
them  how  to  manoeuyre,  steer  and  work  their  guns 
under  eyery  condition  of  the  changing  sea.  The 
spirit  of  the  soldiers  was  excellent  and  they  had  full 
confidence  in  their  commander.  They  were  con- 
stantly employed  in  exercises  either  by  sea  or  land, 
in  difffi^inc;  trenches,  fortifyinc;  the  shore,  or  beautify- 
ing  their  camps.     Special  boats  or  barges  were  as- 

29 


30  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

signed  to  each  battalion  and  company,  and  every 
man,  down  to  the  smallest  drnmmer,  knew  his  own 
craft  and  his  place  in  it.  As  soon  as  the  signal  was 
given,  the  different  arms — infantry,  cavalry  and  ar- 
tillery— were  immediately  in  readiness  and  marched 
straight  to  their  ships.  At  the  sound  of  a  warning 
gun  all  the  officers  dismounted  and  placed  themselves 
at  the  head  of  their  troops,  a  second  gun  ordered  them 
to  prepare  for  embarkation,  a  third  was  fired  for  the 
])lacing  of  non-commissioned  officers,  a  fourth  for 
the  march.  In  this  manner  twenty-five  thousand  men 
could  be  embarked  in  ten  minutes  and  a  half.  The 
army  was  full  of  enthusiasm ;  they  thought  that  the 
decisive  moment  had  come  at  last,  but  a  fifth  report 
bade  them  leave  their  ships.  In  thirteen  minutes 
they  again  stood  upon  the  shore  in  battle  array. 

For  the  success  of  the  scheme  it  was  necessary 
to  lure  the  English  fleet  away  from  the  Channel.  Na- 
poleon in  after  years  was  accustomed  to  talk  of  this 
mighty  enterprise,  and  to  declare  that  with  better 
luck  it  ^vould  have  succeeded.  lie  said  that  he  had 
determined  to  collect  forty  or  fifty  line-of-battle  ships 
in  the  harbour  of  Martinique,  drawn  from  the  ports 
of  Toulon,  Cadiz,  Ferrol  and  Brest,  to  bring  them 
back  Avith  all  speed  to  Boulogne,  and  then  to  be  mas- 
ter of  the  sea  for  fourteen  days.  His  further  plan 
was  to  collect  one  hundred  and  sixty  thousand  men 
at  Boulogne,  with  four  thousand  ships  of  transport 
and  a  huge  material  of  war,  to  embark  with  men 
and  munition  without  the  enemy  suspecting  his  real 
object.  lie  imagined  that  he  could  do  this  by  using 
rafts  and  gun1)oats  instead  of  ordinary  transports. 
Had  he  collected  some  thousands  of  unarmed  trans- 
ports in  the  Channel  the  enemy  would  have  known 
that  he  must  wait  for  the  arrival  of  his  fleet.     But 


THE  INVASION  OF  ENGLAND.  31 

when  they  saw  him  building  gunboats  and  floating 
batteries,  they  would  imagine  that  no  escort  was 
necessary  and  would  pay  less  attention  to  the  where- 
abouts of  the  French  fleet.  In  this  way  he  imagined 
that  he  had  entirely  deceived  the  watchful  English ; 
but  it  may  be  doubted  whether  he  did  not  rather  de- 
ceive himself. 

Let  us  see  how  the  plot  worked  out.  Admiral 
Musiessy  reached  the  Antilles  on  February  5,  1805, 
drawing  the  English  after  him.  Villeneuve  man- 
aged to  escape  from  Toulon.  He  sailed  first  to  the 
east,  then  turning  round  passed  the  Straits  of  Gib- 
raltar on  March  30  and  joined  Gravina  in  Cadiz, 
who  had  about  six  Spanish  line-of-battle  ships  under 
his  command.  Gantheaume  was  in  a  similar  fashion 
to  sail  forth  from  Brest,  join  Villeneuve,  Musiessy 
and  Gravina  at  Martinique,  sail  back  with  them  to 
Boulogne  and  hold  the  Channel  whilst  the  fleet  of 
England  was  dispersed  all  over  the  globe.  But  J^elson 
was  too  formidable  an  antgonist.  He  followed  close 
on  Villeneuve's  track  as  swiftly  as  was  possible  with 
contrary  winds.  He  at  first  thought  that  he  was  aim- 
ing at  Ireland ;  not  till  May  5  did  he  learn  that  his 
objective  was  Jamaica.  The  French  had  thirty  days' 
start  of  him ;  but  he  hastened  to  Jamaica.  He  said 
to  his  captains :  "  You  may  each  of  you  take  a 
Frenchman,  but  leave  all  the  Spaniards  to  me.  Strike 
your  flag  when  I  strike  mine,  but  not  before."  On 
June  4  iSTelson  arrived  at  Barbadoes,  but  found  no 
trace  of  the  French,  nor  were  they  visible  at  Trini- 
dad. He  sought  them  at  the  mouth  of  the  Orinoco 
and  heard  that  they  had  sailed  northwards.  The 
French  fleet  had  received  orders  to  return  to  Europe,  to 
raise  the  blockade  of  Ferrol,  to  set  free  Gantheaume 
from  Brest,  and  with  these  united  forces  to  appear  in 


32  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  Channel.  Villeneuve  was  to  avoid  all  engage- 
ments which  were  not  absolutely  necessary,  and  to 
come  as  close  to  Brest  as  possible  in  order  that  Gan- 
theanrae  might  co-operate  with  him.  He  was  told 
that  if  he  could  only  be  master  of  the  Channel  for 
fortv-eiffht  hours  the  ffreat  scheme  would  be  accom- 
plished.  Xapoleon  was  informed  that  Villeneuve 
had  reached  the  Azores  on  June  23,  and  waited  im- 
patiently for  his  appearance  oil  the  French  coast. 

But  by  this  time  Xelson  began  to  discover  what 
J^apoleon's  plan  Avas.  He  had  visited  all  the  West 
Indian  islands  in  seventy-ei2,iit  davs.  When  he  heard 
that  the  French  were  returning  to  Europe  he  sent 
some  of  his  swiftest  sailers  to  Portsmouth  and  Lisbon 
to  inform  the  English  government.  Xelson  was  back 
ajTain  at  Gibraltar  on  Julv  18.  Collina^wood  also 
began  to  suspect  the  truth.  He  knew  that  Xapoleon 
would  never  risk  his  fleet  without  some  great  end  in 
view :  that  his  object  must  be  to  lure  away  the  English 
fleet  in  j^reparation  for  some  important  enterprise, 
probably  the  capture  of  Ireland.  The  English  gov- 
ernment gave  orders  to  Admiral  Stirling,  who  was 
blockading  liochefort,  to  join  Sir  Bobert  Caldcr  at 
Ferrol  and  to  arrive  in  the  neighbourhood  of  CajDe 
Finisterre  in  order  to  intercept  the  French  fleet  on 
their  return  to  Brest.  These  manoeuvres  were  ac- 
complished by  June  15,  and  Calder  went  to  meet 
the  French  with  fifteen  ships. 

The  two  fleets  came  in  sight  of  each  other  off  Cape 
Finisterre  on  Julv  21.  The  weather  was  so  hazv 
that  thev  could  see  nothing  of  each  other  until  thev 
were  quite  close.  Villeneuve  was  dislicartened,  and 
his  men  were  sick  with  fever.  He  was  therefore  re- 
luctant to  en2;ae:e  and  delaved  the  commencement  of 
the  battle  from  eleven  to  one.     It  lasted  for  four 


THE  INVASION  OF  ENGLAND.  33 

hours.  The  hattle  was  not  verj  decisive,  but  it  ruined 
Kapoleon's  plans.  ISTeither  party  renewed  the  con- 
flict on  the  following  day,  although  both  of  them 
might  have  done  so.  On  August  2  Gravina  sailed  to 
Ferrol  and  Yilleneuve  to  Corunna.  In  this  port  he 
received  the  most  positive  orders  from  JSTapoleon  to 
sail  to  Brest  and  to  set  Gantheaume  free  from  block- 
ade even  at  the  risk  of  his  own  destruction. 

Villeneuve  left  Corunna  on  August  14,  with  fore- 
bodings of  misfortune.  It  is  possible  that  if  he  had 
shown  sufficient  energy  he  might  have  executed  the 
commands  of  his  master,  because  C alder  and  ]Srelson 
had  not  as  yet  united  their  forces.  Xapoleon  was  at 
the  height  of  expectation.  The  troops  were  embarked, 
the  artillery  and  the  cavalry  were  on  board,  watch 
was  kept  on  the  heights  to  give  the  first  warning  of 
the  approaching  fleet.  Lauriston,  avIio  was  with  Vil- 
leneuve, wrote  to  ISTapoleon :  "  We  are  sailing  to 
Brest,"  and  the  Emperor  wrote  to  Gantheaume :  "  I 
reckon  upon  your  abilities,  your  steadfastness,  your 
character.  Set  sail  and  come  hither — we  are  aveng- 
ing the  disgrace  of  six  hundred  years;  never  have 
my  soldiers  risked  their  lives  for  a  greater  object." 
To  Villeneuve  he  said :  "  Lose  not  a  moment,  England 
is  ours !     We  are  prepared  ;  everything  is  on  board." 

But  Villeneuve  had  not  the  stomach  for  such  a 
crisis.  Hearing  from  some  Danish  ships  that  the 
British  fleet  was  at  hand,  twenty-five  strong,  he  turned 
back  and  reached  Cadiz  on  the  very  day  on  which  he 
was  expected  at  Brest.  Gantheaume  had  ventured 
out,  and  was  drawn  up  in  battle  array  in  the  roads  of 
Bethune.  Cornwallis  fired  at  him  from  a  distance. 
All  eyes  were  turned  towards  the  horizon  in  the  hope 
of  sighting  Villeneuve,  but  not  a  sail  was  visible,  and 


3J:  AVARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Gantheaume  was  obliged  to  seek  his  old  anchorage 
in  the  evening. 

I^apoleon's  wrath  was  terrible.  It  fell  first  upon 
Decres,  the  Minister  of  Marine,  for  having  recom- 
mended to  him  so  worthless  a  sailor.  "  Your  Vil- 
leneuve,"  he  said,  "  is  not  even  fit  to  lose  a  battle. 
What  can  one  say  of  a  man  who  when  a  few 
sailors  are  sick,  when  he  has  lost  a  few  masts,  or  re- 
ceived bad  news,  loses  his  head  and  disobeys  his 
orders  ?  If  Xelson  and  Calder  had  joined,  they  would 
be  in  the  Bay  of  Ferrol  and  not  on  the  open  sea.  That 
is  quite  simple  and  obvious  to  every  one  who  is  not 
blinded  by  fear."  He  ordered  that  the  command  of 
the  fleet  should  be  given  to  Gantheaume. 

Decres  had  the  courage  to  reply  that  Xapoleon's 
enterprise  was  impossible,  and  that  by  retiring  to 
Cadiz  Villeneuve  had  saved  his  country  from  a  great 
disaster.  The  only  safe  plan,  he  said,  was  gradually 
to  build  up  a  fleet  which  should  contend  with  the 
English.  Thus  the  great  scheme  for  the  invasion  of 
England  came  to  a  sorry  end,  but  l^apoleon  till  the 
day  of  his  death  maintained  that  it  was  possible. 


THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  ULM.  35 


CHAPTER  VII. 

THE   CAMPAIGN   OF  ULM. 

E'apoleon  revealed  the  key-note  of  his  character 
when  he  said,  "  I  mav  lose  a  battle,  but  I  will  never 
lose  a  minute."  When  he  heard  that  his  plans  for  the 
invasion  of  England  were  shattered  he  summoned 
Daru  into  his  cabinet.  Daru  found  him  walking  up 
and  down  like  a  caged  lion,  breaking  a  gloomv  silence 
with  passionate  exclamations :  "  What  a  fleet !  What 
sacrifices  for  nothing !  What  an  admiral !  All  hope  is 
lost !  This  wretch  Villeneuve,  instead  of  sailing  into 
the  Channel,  retreats  to  Cadiz.  All  is  over;  he  will 
be  blockaded !  "  Then,  after  a  few  moments'  pause, 
he  cried,  ''  Sit  dovn\  and  write."  He  then  dictated 
without  a  moment's  hesitation  the  plan  of  the  wonder- 
ful Campaign  of  1805  against  the  Austrians  and  the 
Russians.  He  prescribed  in  detail  the  march  of  the 
troops,  the  very  spots  where  battles  would  be  fought, 
the  gigantic  movements  of  a  whole  army  over  a  space 
of  a  thousand  miles.  On  September  23  he  wrote  to 
Talleyrand :  "  My  resolution  is  firm.  My  fleets 
were  sighted  on  August  1-i  at  the  level  of  Cape 
Ortegal ;  if  they  come  into  the  Channel,  then  I  shall 
havetime  to  cut  the  knot  of  this  Coalition  in  London. 
But  if  my  admirals  are  too  weak  for  such  an  enter- 
prise, then  I  shall  break  up  my  camp,  invade  Ger- 
many with  two  hundred  thousand  men  and  not  stop 
until  I  reach  Vienna,  and  have  driven  the  Austrians 
from  Italy  and  the  Bourbons  from  Naples.     I  shall 


36  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

beat  the  Austrians  and  Kussians  before  thej  have 
time  to  unite.  When  the  Continent  is  appeased  I 
shall  return  to  the  shores  of  the  ocean  to  secure  j)eace 
at  sea." 

The  plan  of  the  allies  had  been  drawn  up  in 
the  following  manner:  Five  thousand  English  and 
t\ventj-hve  tliousand  Russian  troops  were  to  land 
in  Naples  from  Malta  and  Corfu,  drive  out  the 
French,  and  advance  into  Lombardy.  An  Austrian 
army  of  one  hundred  and  forty-two  thousand  men 
under  the  command  of  the  Archduke  Charles  was  to 
conquer  Mantua  and  Peschiera,  expelling  the  French, 
and  then  entering  Switzerland.  Another  Austrian 
army  of  fifty-three  thousand  men  under  Archduke 
John  was  to  be  posted  in  the  Tyrol  andthe  Vorarlberg 
to  maintain  communications  between  the  army  in 
Lombardy  and  the  forces  under  Mack.  This  general 
at  the  head  of  eighty-three  thousand  was  awaiting  on 
the  Lech  the  arrival  of  ninety  thousand  Russians, 
With  this  united  strength  he  was  to  march  into 
Switzerland  and  press  on  into  Franche-Comt^.  Be- 
sides this,  twenty  thousand  Russians  were  to  sail 
from  Reval  to  Stralsund,  to  join  there  with  twelve 
thousand  Swedes  and  a  few  thousand  English  and  to 
proceed  to  the  reconquest  of  Hanover.  If,  as  was 
probable,  Prussia  joined  the  Coalition,  her  armies 
were  to  l)e  directed  against  Holland  on  the  middle 
Rhine.  Such  was  the  scheme  of  a  great  concentric 
attack,  the  success  of  which  depended  on  the  exact- 
ness with  which  it  was  carried  out. 

The  mistakes  and  weaknesses  of  the  Austrians  will 
appear  in  the  sequel,  but  in  the  designs  of  ISTapoleon 
there  were  no  weaknesses  and  no  mistakes.  He  after- 
wards spoke  of  his  plan  of  campaign  as  "  Granite 
of  which  no  envy  can  contest  the  glory."     He  showed 


THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  ULM.  37 

himself  a  general  worthy  to  rank  with  Caesar,  simple 
and  grandiose  in  conception,  unwearying  in  minute- 
ness of  detail,  swift  and  exact  in  execution.  Europe 
was  struck  dumb  with  admiration  and  amazement. 

The  Austrians  had  sent  their  best  generals  and 
their  most  trustworthy  troops  to  Italy,  thinking  that 
Napoleon  was  sure  to  command  there  in  person,  in 
the  scene  of  his  youthful  triumphs.  But  the  Em- 
peror had  determined  to  leave  the  defence  of  Italy 
to  Massena,  whose  tenacity  could  be  trusted,  and  who 
could  support  himself  on  the  Adige  and  the  Mincio 
as  he  had  before  held  out  in  Genoa.  He  reckoned 
that  with  fifty  thousand  seasoned  troops  Massena 
could  keep  head  against  the  Archduke  Charles  for 
a  month  and  give  i^apoleon  time  to  strike  such  de- 
cisive blows  that  it  would  be  necessarv  to  recall  the 
Archduke  into  Germany;  Massena  could  then  follow 
him  and  join  Xapoleon  on  the  Danube. 

Xapoleon  determined  that  he  would  himself  ad- 
vance with  all  speed  to  the  Danube,  and  defeat  first 
the  Austrians  and  then  the  Russians  before  they  had 
time  to  unite.  This  could  only  be  done  if  his  plan 
were  carried  out  with  the  utmost  celerity  and  the- 
strictest  secrecy.  The  army  of  England  was  to  be 
moved  with  incredible  rapidity  to  the  banks  of  the 
Danube,  the  Russians  to  be  surrounded  before  they 
were  aware  of  the  approach  of  an  enemy,  the  Russians 
defeated  and  peace  enforced  in  Vienna.  This  was 
the  plan  which  iSTapoleon  dictated  in  five  hours  to 
Daru.  Finally,  he  said :  ''  Travel  to  Paris,  but  give 
out  that  you  are  going  to  Ostend.  Prepare  all  orders 
for  mobilisation,  for  marching,  and  for  the  commis- 
sariat in  siich  a  way  that  they  only  need  my  signa- 
ture. Do  all  this  yourself,  let  no  one  else  have  a 
hand  in  it." 


38  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Bernadotte  was  now  in  Hanover  with  twenty  thoii- 
sand  men ;  he  was  to  collect  half  of  these  in  Gottin- 
gen  and  the  other  half  in  Hanover.  lie  was  to  send 
six  thonsand  men  to  Hameln  and  to  provision  their 
fortress  for  a  year.  After  twelve  marches  he  was  to 
reach  Wiirzbnrc;  on  September  20,  and  then  take  com- 
mand of  twenty  thousand  Bavarians.  He  was  to  pay 
for  everything  in  ready  money  and  preserve  the  strict- 
est discipline.  In  a  similar  manner  Marmont,  who 
was  posted  at  Xijmegen  with  twenty  thousand  men 
and  forty  well-equipped  guns,  was  to  set  out  on  Sep- 
tember 1,  and  follow  the  course  of  the  Rhine  until 
he  reached  Mainz.  From  that  point  he  was  to  arrive 
at  Wiirzburg  on  September  23. 

The  array  of  England  was  to  break  up  on  August 
25.  The  camj)  of  Ambleteuse,  under  the  command 
of  Davout,  was  to  proceed  by  Lille,  ISTamur,  Luxem- 
burg and  Deux  Fonts  to  Mannheim ;  that  of  Bou- 
logne, under  Soult,  by  Saint  Omer,  Douay,  Verdun, 
and  Metz  to  Spires;  that  of  Montreuil,  under  Lannes, 
by  Arras,  liheims,  Xancy  and  Saverne  to  Strasburg. 
Xey  was  to  march  to  Weissenburg.  Each  of  these 
camps  was  to  march  in  three  divisions,  with  one  day 
between  their  movements.  By  September  24  the 
whole  of  the  troops  would  be  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  Rhine.  The  cavalry  w^ere  spread  about  over 
Alsace;  the  Imperial  Guard  marched  from  Paris  to 
Strasburg.  These  movements  were  so  little  known 
to  the  enemy  that  the  Austrian  government  heard 
nothing  of  the  plan  till  the  end  of  September.  The 
spirit  of  the  soldiers  was  excellent.  They  marched 
Avith  bands  playing,  singing  patriotic  songs,  and 
shouting,  "  Vive  I'Empereur !  "  When  they  reached 
the  Rhine  each  soldier  received  an  overcoat  and  two 
pairs  of  shoes.     In  order  the  better  to  conceal  his 


THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  ULM.  39 

plans  Napoleon  remained  for  six  days  in  Boulogne, 
which  he  did  not  leave  till  September  2.  He  reached 
Malmaison  on  September  3.  He  stayed  at  Paris 
exactly  three  weeks,  working  all  the  time  with  inex- 
haustible energy.  On  September  24  he  left  the 
capital  for  Strasburg,  commissioning  his  brother 
Joseph  to  preside  over  the  Senate,  Louis  to  raise 
troops  and  form  a  National  Guard,  and  Camba- 
ceres  to  take  charge  of  the  Council  of  State.  All 
matters  were  to  be  communicated  to  him  in  his 
absence  and  the  final  decision  was  to  rest  with  the 
Emj^eror.  A  courier  was  despatched  to  head- 
quarters every  day,  and,  if  it  was  absolutely  neces- 
sary for  a  Minister  to  do  anything  on  his  own  ac- 
count, he  was  held  personally  responsible  for  his 
actions.  Napoleon  remained  the  ruler  of  Paris  and 
of  France  even  in  the  midst  of  his  army.  General 
Brune  was  left  in  Boulogne  to  defend  the  sea-coast, 
Lefebvre  was  in  Mainz,  and  Kellermann  in  Stras- 
burg. Josephine  desired  to  accompany  her  husband 
in  the  campaign,  but  she  was  only  allowed  to  go  as 
far  as  Strasburg.  Talleyrand  w^as  also  to  remain  in 
that  frontier  fortress  for  the  present,  while  Maret 
attended  the  Emperor  in  the  capacity  of  Minister. 

On  October  1,  1805,  Napoleon  crossed  the  Rhine 
and  set  foot  on  German  soil.  He  was  greeted  by  the 
Elector  Palatine,  and  Baden  promised  a  contribution 
of  three  thousand  troops  to  the  Grand  Army  as  well 
as  transport  and  provisions.  Wiirtemberg  followed 
this  example  and  contributed  about  six  thousand  men. 
This  country  remained  faithful  to  the  alliance  till 
the  catastrophe  of  1813.  The  motive  in  each  of 
these  cases  Avas  on  the  one  hand  the  difficulty  of  neu- 
trality and  on  the  other  the  desire  for  an  enlarge- 
ment of  territory  and  an  advancement  in  rank.   These 


40  AVARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

hopes  were  not  disapjiointed — Wiirtcmberg  became  a 
Kingdom,  and  Ijadcn  a  Grand  Duchy. 

Meanwhile  Napoleon's  generals  were  advancing 
with  the  utmost  speed  along  the  routes  marked  out 
for  them.  The  cavalry  under  Murat,  supported  by  a 
part  of  Lannes'  corps,  entered  the  depths  of  the 
Black  Forest,  and,  passing  by  what  are  now  magnifi- 
cent roads  through  the  hills,  advanced  to  the  highest 
point  at  Freudenstadt,  and  then  down  to  Rottweil 
and  Xeustadt.  Lannes'  main  body,  crossing  the 
Rhine  at  Strasburg,  moved  to  the  north  through  Stutt- 
gart to  Xeresheim,  and  was  followed  along  the  same 
road  by  Xapoleon  with  the  Guard.  His  plan  was  to 
make  Mack  believe  that  the  main  attack  would  be  in 
front,  and  to  induce  him  to  preserve  his  position  on 
the  Iller  between  Ulm  and  Memmingen.  In  the 
meantime  he  would  push  on  with  his  left  wing  to- 
wards the  Danube,  cross  it  at  Donauworth  and  Ingol- 
stadt,  and  occupy  Mack's  rear  in  such  a  manner  that 
he  should  not  be  able  to  retreat  to  the  Lech  or  the  Isar. 
Mack  would  then  be  compelled  to  surrender,  and  iSTa- 
poleon  with  his  collected  army  would  meet  the  Rus- 
sians whom  Mack  was  expecting. 

Napoleon  used  every  art  to  deceive  Mack's  vigi- 
lance, which  was  not  very  great.  He  sent  a  spy  into 
liis  camp  to  persuade  him  that  the  French  were  at- 
tacking from  Freiburg  along  the  old  road  by  the  Hol- 
lenthal.  He  also  induced  him  to  believe  that  a  revo- 
lution had  broken  out  in  Paris  and  that  the  French 
were  in  retreat.  In  the  meantime  Napoleon's  troops 
moved  from  point  to  point  as  accurately  as  if  they 
were  machines.  The  decisive  moment  arrived  at  the 
end  of  the  first  week  of  October.  Soult  occupied  the 
important  bridge  at  Donauworth,  ]\Iurat  another 
bridge  a  few  miles  higher  up.     On  the  evening  of  Oc- 


THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  ULM.  41 

tober  7,  sixty-five  thousand  French  were  posted  on 
the  right  hank  of  the  Danube,  and  soon  occuj)ied 
the  ground  between  the  Iller  and  the  Lech.  On  the 
same  day  Xapoleon  reached  Donauworth  and  made 
arrangements  for  meeting  the  Russians  and  for  cut- 
ting off  Mack's  retreat  to  Munich.  Murat  and  Lannes 
took  a  post  between  Uhn  and  Augsburg,  which  was 
occupied  by  Soult.  Davout  crossed  the  river  at  iSTeu- 
burg,  below  Donauworth,  and  Bernadotte  with  his 
Bavarian  troops  at  Ingolstadt.  On  October  12  the 
Bavarians  regained  possession  of  their  capitaL 

The  toils  were  gradually  closing  round  the  un- 
haj)py  Mack,  and  the  process  of  investing  his  army 
was  left  mainly  to  Murat  and  ISTey.  Xapoleon  him- 
self reached  Augsburg  on  October  9.  Mack's  only 
chance  of  safety  would  have  been  to  retreat  south- 
wards towards  the  Tyrol,  which  he  could  have  reached 
in  two  or  three  davs.  He  would  have  ioined  the  armv 
there  and  united  himself  with  the  Austrian  army  in 
Italy,  which  would  liave  been  a  serious  blow  to  Xa- 
poleon's  plans.  But  Mack  remained  paralysed  and 
unable  to  move,  like  the  rabbit  before  the  cobra.  On 
October  9  there  was  a  serious  enoagement  at  Giinz- 
burg  for  the  possession  of  three  bridges.  The  Aus- 
trians  fought  bravely  and  the  French  suffered  liea^'v' 
losses,  but  they  obtained  possession  of  one  of  the 
bridges  and  the  Austrians  were  compelled  to  retreat, 
with  the  loss  of  two  thousand  men.  On  the  following 
day  thev  returned  to  Ulm,  tired,  disheartened  and 
without  confidence  in  their  general. 

The  Archduke  Ferdinand  has  the  credit  of  having 
foreseen  the  inevitable  disaster.  After  the  battle  of 
Giinzburg  he  told  Mack  that  he  should  hold  him  re- 
sponsible for  all  the  consequences  of  his  actions, 
that  the  only  hope  of  safety  lay  in  a  speedy  march  to 


42  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Xordliiigon,  where  an  openinj":;  was  still  left  in  the 
iron  ring  of  investment.  In  this  way  it  would  be  pos- 
sible to  reach  Bohemia  and  act  in  the  rear  of  the 
French  army.  This  plan  might  have  been  possible 
on  October  10,  but  every  day  and  every  hour  made  it 
less  likely  to  succeed.  At  last  on  October  13  Mack 
gave  way  to  the  pressure  of  his  colleagues  and  pre- 
pared for  a  retreat  to  ISJ'ordlingen.  But  no  sooner 
were  the  orders  given  than  they  were  recalled.  Mack 
was  informed  that  the  English  had  landed  at  Boulogne 
and  were  marching  towards  Paris,  that  the  French 
army  was  in  retreat,  and  that  in  two  days  there  would 
not  be  a  single  French  soldier  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Ulm. 

Napoleon,  on  tlie  other  hand,  was  preparing  for  a 
decisive  battle.  He  issued  a  manifesto  to  his  soldiers 
in  the  following  words :  '"  Except  for  this  army 
which  stands  in  your  way  we  should  now  be  in 
London,  and  should  have  avenged  the  insults  of  six 
hundred  years,  and  given  freedom  to  the  seas.  To- 
morrow you  will  fight  against  the  allies  of  England. 
The  day  which  da^\^ls  to-morrow  will  be  a  hundred 
times  more  important  than  Marengo.  You  will  be 
the  marvel  of  the  future.  It  is  not  enough  to  con- 
quer the  enemy.  ISTo!  not  a  single  man  of  the 
enemy's  army,  must  escape  us." 

On  October  14  was  fought  the  battle  of  Elchingen, 
in  wliich  the  large  abbey  of  tliat  name  was  bravely 
defended  by  the  Austrians.  But  after  three  hours' 
conflict  the  Austrians  were  driven  back  with  the  loss 
of  three  thousand  men,  and  that  evening  Napoleon 
slept  in  the  abbey.  Ney,  who  was  the  hero  of  the 
day,  received  at  a  later  period  the  title  of  the  Duke 
of  Elchingen.  On  the  same  evening  the  French 
stood  round  Ulm  in  a  half  circle,  but  retreat  was  still 


THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  ULM.  43 

possible  either  to  Bohemia  or  the  Tyrol.  A  council 
of  war  was  held,  in  which  the  danger  of  the  whole 
army  becoming  prisoners  was  insisted  upon.  But 
Mack's  sole  idea  was  to  attack  N^apoleon.  He  de- 
clared that  it  was  the  French  who  were  in  a  desperate 
condition ;  that  the  recent  assaults  were  only  made 
with  a  view  of  covering  their  retreat.  He  said  that 
a  revolution  had  broken  out  in  Brabant  and  France, 
that  Xapoleon  was  hastening  to  the  Rhine  and  that 
the  retreat  would  beein  on  the  following  dav.  After 
many  hard  words,  in  which  Mack  threatened  to  cut 
off  the  Archduke's  head,  a  retreat  was  decided  upon. 
But  it  was  too  late. 

Napoleon  now  determined  to  make  an  end,  and  the 
storming  of  Ulm  was  fixed  for  October  15,  and  com- 
mitted to  the  charge  of  Xey  and  Lannes.  The 
Austrians  offered  but  little  resistance  and  the 
Michelsberg  and  the  Frauenberg  were  captured,  and 
Segur  was  sent  to  demand  the  capitulation  of  the  gar- 
rison. Mack  was  beside  himself  with  rage.  "  You 
see  men  before  you,"  he  cried,  "  who  are  ready  to  shed 
their  last  drop  of  blood  in  self-defence."  Segur 
poiiited  out  that  he  was  surrounded  by  more  than 
one  hundred  thousand  French  troops,  that  the  Rus- 
sians were  far  away,  that  the  line  of  the  Inn  was 
occupied  by  sixty  thousand  French,  and  that  Arch- 
duke Charles  was  detained  on  the  Adige  by  Massena 
and  could  not  possibly  come  to  his  assistance.  Two 
days  later  Mack  had  an  interview  with  ISTapoleon 
himself,  the  result  of  which  was  a  capitulation.  The 
French  were  to  enter  Ulm  on  the  following  day.  If 
before  midnight  on  October  25  no  Austrian  army 
came  to  their  rescue,  the  whole  of  the  troops  in  Ulm 
were  to  lay  down  their  arms,  declare  themselves 
prisoners  of  war  and  be  conveyed  to  France.       The 


44  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

officers  wore  to  return  to  their  country  under  a  pledge 
not  to  tight  against  France  during  the  remainder  of 
the  campaign ;  their  arms  and  all  munitions  of  war 
were  to  remain  the  property  of  the  French. 

Napoleon  succeeded  in  shortening  the  delay.  On 
October  20  twenty-seven  thousand  Austrians  sur- 
rendered to  the  conqueror.  ISTapoleon  stood  at  the 
foot  of  the  Michelsberg,  his  infantry  in  a  semicircle 
behind  him,  liis  cavalry  in  a  line  before  him ;  and  be- 
tween the  two  marched  the  Austrians  in  pairs  and 
laid  their  arms  at  his  feet. 

To  have  enforced  the  capitulation  of  Ulm  was  a 
triumph  of  military  skill.  The  Third  Coalition  be- 
tween England,  Austria,  Russia  and  Prussia  was  en- 
tirely broken.  The  Austrians  were  crushed  before 
any  of  their  allies  had  time  to  assist  them,  and  before 
they  were  able  to  collect  their  own  forces  together. 
This  disaster  was  a  terrible  blow  to  Pitt.  In  the 
autumn  of  1805  he  was  standing  in  a  house  at  Bath, 
looking  at  a  portrait  of  Quin,  the  actor,  when  sud- 
denly the  noise  of  rattling  hoofs  was  heard  along  the 
pavement.  He  looked  out  of  the  window  and  saw 
a  mounted  courier  carrying  a  post-bag  ga]loping  up 
the  street.  "  Those  despatches  are  for  me,"  he  cried. 
He  stopped  the  messenger,  read  the  despatches  and 
fell  into  a  swoon  from  which  it  needed  a  strong 
draught  of  brandy  to  revive  him.  He  regained  his 
senses,  but  his  face  never  recovered  its  natural  hue, 
and  the  ashy  paleness  then  impressed  upon  his 
features  remained  till  his  death  J^o  wonder  that  a 
few  days  before  that  event  he  perceived  a  map  of 
Europe  hanging  on  the  wall,  and  said,  "  Roll  up  that 
map,  we  shall  never  want  it  more." 

On  October  21  Xapoleon  issued  a  proclamation  to 
his  army  in  which  he  boasted  that  in  fourteen  days 


THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  ULM.  45 

they  had  finished  a  campaign,  they  had  driven  the 
troops  of  the  House  of  Austria  from  Bavaria,  and 
replaced  the  allies  of  France  in  the  government  of 
their  States.  "  Of  one  hundred  thousand  men 
which  formed  this  army,"  he  continued,  "  sixty 
thousand  are  our  prisoners;  they  will  replace  in 
agricultural  labour  the  soldiers  whom  we  have  sum- 
moned to  arms.  Two  hundred  guns,  ninety  ban- 
ners, all  the  generals  are  in  our  power;  only  fifteen 
thousand  of  the  enemy  have  escaped."  On  the  very 
day  that  these  proud  words  were  spoken  was  fought 
the  battle  of  Trafalgar,  which  it  is  not  within  our 
province  to  narrate,  which  annihilated  the  navies  of 
France  and  Spain,  and  dealt  them  a  blow  from  which 
they  have  not  recovered  at  the  present  day. 


40  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  VIIL 

THE  MARCH  TO  AUSTEELITZ. 

Aftek  the  destruction  of  Mack's  army  at  Ulm, 
Napoleon  hastened  to  Vienna.  He  had  nothing  to 
oppose  him  excepting  an  army  of  fiftv  thousand  men, 
commanded  bv  Ivutusov  and  the  Austrians  who  had 
been  saved  from  the  capituhation  by  Kienmayer  and 
Meerveldt.  Having  ordered  the  fortifications  of 
Ulm  and  Memmingen  to  be  destroyed,  N^apoleon 
marched  to  Augsburg,  making  the  Lech  the  line  of 
his  operations  instead  of  the  Danube.  His  safety 
now  lay  in  the  speed  of  his  operations.  The  longer 
the  line  of  his  communications,  the  greater  were 
the  dangers  to  which  he  was  exposed.  He  had  to 
cross  many  rivers,  to  run  the  e:auntlet  of  the  remains 
of  the  Austrian  army,  and  the  reinforcements  which 
were  pouring  in  from  the  eastern  provinces  and  from 
Russia.  It  was  possible  that  Archduke  Charles, 
hastening  up  from  Italy,  might  reach  Vienna  before 
him ;  that  Prussia  might  take  up  arms  and  assail  him 
in  the  flank ;  that  the  Archduke  Ferdinand,  who  was 
collecting  an  army  in  Bohemia,  might  cut  his  line  of 
operations  in  two ;  that  the  combined  army  of  Rus- 
sians, Swedes,  and  English  might  press  forward  with 
rapidity;  and  that  another  allied  force  of  Russians, 
English,  and  Neapolitans  might  attack  Lombardy. 
These  dangers  and  difficulties  would  have  dismayed 
any  ordinary  man,  but  the  greater  his  peril  the  more 
remarkable  became  the  clearness  of  his  vision  and 


THE  MARCH  TO  AUSTERLITZ.  47 

the  intrepidity  of  his  soul.  On  October  24,  1805, 
three  days  after  the  proclamation  of  Ulm,  Napoleon 
was  received  in  Munich  with  enthusiasm.  On  the 
following  day  the  French  army  moved  towards  the 
Inn.  Ney  received  orders  to  march  into  the  Tyrol 
and  to  give  his  hand  to  Augereau,  who  was  bringing 
a  force  of  twenty-five  thousand  men  from  Bordeaux 
by  way  of  the  Arlberg.  Bernadotte  and  ]\Iarniont 
were  despatched  to  cross  the  Inn  in  its  upper  waters 
and  to  distract  the  attention  of  the  enemy  from  the 
main  advance.  ISTapoleon  himself,  with  the  divisions 
of  Davout  Soult,  and  Lannes,  with  the  guard  and 
the  reserve  cavalry,  were  to  cross  the  Inn  in  the 
neiffhbourhood  of  I3raunau.  In  the  meantime  Du- 
pent  was  to  make  himself  master  of  Passau. 

These  movements  were  carried  out  with  marvellous 
rapidity  and  exactness.  The  Austrians  were  too 
much  astonished  to  resist.  The  fortress  of  Braunau 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  French,  without  a  struggle, 
well  supplied  with  all  munitions  of  war.  ISTapoleon 
made  it  the  headquarters  of  supply  to  his  army  in  its 
future  operations,  and  confided  it  to  the  care  of 
Lauriston.  JSTapoleon  remained  for  a  few  days  in 
Linz,  and  from  this  place  despatched  a  division  along 
the  left  bank  of  the  Danube,  partly  to  hinder  the 
operations  of  the  Archduke  John,  who  was  collecting 
troops  in  Bohemia,  and  partly  to  provide  against  the 
second  army  which  the  Emperor  Alexander  was  col- 
lecting in  Moravia.  He  also  formed  a  flotilla,  for 
the  purpose  of  conveying  supplies,  artillery  and  am- 
munition down  the  Danube,  and  also  of  affording 
rest  to  foot-weary  soldiers.  The  flotilla  also  served 
the  purpose  of  a  floating  bridge,  as  by  its  means  ten 
thousand  men  could  be  conveyed  from  bank  to  bank 
in  the  course  of  an  hour. 


48  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Mortier  was  placed  in  command  of  the  left  bank 
colnmn,  and  JSTaj^oleon's  wish  was  that  both  columns 
should  advance  upon  Vienna  in  parallel  lines,  keep- 
ing as  nearly  opposite  to  each  other  as  possible.  This 
plan  was  spoiled  by  the  impatience  of  Murat,  whose 
vanity  led  him  to  desire  to  enter  Vienna  as  speedily 
as  possible.  Thus  on  November  11  Murat  was,  with 
his  cavalry  at  Burkensdorf,  close  to  Vienna,  when 
Mortier  had  not  advanced  further  than  Diirrenstein, 
the  castle  in  which  Richard,  King  of  England,  was 
confined  on  his  return  from  the  Crusades,  and  where 
it  is  said  that  he  was  discovered  by  the  song  of  the 
faithful  Blondel.  Here  he  came  in  conflict  with 
the  Russians,  some  of  whom  also  crossed  to  the  left 
bank.  The  French  divisions  were  divided  by  a  day's 
march,  and  the  flotilla  was  not  in  sight.  The  French 
were  in  considerable  danger  and  suffered  heavy 
losses.  The  Russians  took  two  thousand  prisoners, 
including  a  whole  regiment  of  dragoons ;  the  division 
of  Grazan  was  almost  destroyed.  Napoleon  was 
much  delighted  with  the  gallant  defence  made  by  the 
French ;  he  praised  Mortier,  recalled  him  to  the  right 
bank  and  placed  Bernadotte  in  charge  of  the  left 
division.  All  the  more  severe  was  the  wrath  and 
contempt  which  he  poured  on  the  head  of  Murat, 
who  had  caused  the  disaster.  He  wrote :  "  I  can- 
not approve  of  the  manner  in  which  you  haste  ahead ; 
you  run  like  a  fool,  and  pay  no  attention  to  the  com- 
mands which  I  send  to  you.  Instead  of  covering 
Vienna,  the  Russians  have  marched  over  the  bridge  of 
Krems,  you  have  lost  me  two  days,  and  have  had 
nothing  before  your  eyes  except  the  vain  glory  of 
being  the  first  to  enter  Vienna.  There  is  no  glory 
where  there  is  no  danger,  and  there  is  no  danger  in 
entering  a  capital  which  is  not  defended." 


THE  MARCH  TO  AUSTERLITZ.  49 

Murat  was  the  first  to  enter  Vienna.  His  soldiers 
marched  into  the  town  at  midday  on  ISTovember  17 ; 
they  hurried  through  the  streets  with  all  haste,  as 
they  were  anxious  to  get  possession  of  the  Tabor 
bridge  over  the  Danube  as  soon  as  possible.  This 
important  bridge  was  won  by  a  trick.  It  was  only 
built  of  wood,  and  every  preparation  had  been  made 
to  destroy  it  as  soon  as  the  French  appeared  in  force. 
Cannon  were  posted  on  the  left  bank,  the  bridge  had 
been  carefully  mined,  and  a  single  spark  would  set  it 
in  flames.  Murat  and  Lannes,  spreading  the  report 
that  an  armistice  had  been  signed,  held  the  Austrian 
commander  in  conversation  while  their  soldiers 
gradually  approached  the  bridge  and  threw  the  ma- 
terials which  were  ready  for  its  destruction  into  the 
stream.  The  Austrian  soldiers  saw  that  they  were 
being  cheated,  and  a  sergeant  urged  the  general  to 
give  orders  for  firing  the  train ;  but  Lannes  ex- 
claimed, with  much  presence  of  mind,  "  How  can  you 
allow  a  soldier  to  address  you  thus  ?  Where  is  the 
Austrian  discipline  so  famous  throughout  Europe  ?  " 
The  soldier  was  arrested  for  his  boldness  of  speech, 
the  bridge  was  occupied  by  the  French,  the  guns  re- 
moved and  their  gunners  captured.  The  seizure  of  the 
bridge  over  the  Danube  had  an  important  influence 
over  the  course  of  the  campaign.  The  decisive  battle 
would  otherwise  have  been  fought  in  Hungary  in- 
stead of  Moravia,  and  the  result  might  have  been 
very  diiferent. 

As  soon  as  Kutusov  heard  that  the  bridge  over  the 
Danube  had  been  captured  by  the  French  he  began  a 
retreat  into  Moravia,  preferring  that  to  Bohemia  be- 
cause he  was  aware  that  a  second  Russian  army  was 
on  the  march  towards  Olmiitz.  ISTapoleon  gave  orders 
for  the  union  of  the  divisions  of  Soult,  Lannes  and 
4 


50  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Murat  in  order  that  thej  might  cut  off  the  retreat  of 
Kutusov  by  reaching  Hollabrunn  before  him.  Kutu- 
sov  despatched  Prince  Bagration  with  seven  thousand 
men  to  Hollabrunn,  which  he  succeeded  in  reaching 
on  November  15,  while  Kutusov  was  able  to  give  his 
troops  some  much-needed  repose.  Murat  imagined 
that  he  had  the  whole  of  the  Russian  army  before 
him,  and  was  therefore  willing  to  listen  to  Kutusov's 
deceitful  proposals  for  an  armistice,  being  beguiled 
by  the  flattering  suggestion  that  he  should  be  the 
first  to  make  peace  as  he  had  before  been  the  first 
to  enter  the  capital  of  the  Kaiser.  When  jSTapoleon 
heard  of  the  armistice  he  refused  to  ratify  it  and 
ordered  an  immediate  attack.  This  was  made  with 
success,  but  Kutusov  had  been  able  bv  his  trick  to 
reach  Olmiitz  with  his  army,  where  he  knew  that  he 
should  meet  his  Emperor,  Alexander  I.  The  plans 
of  N^apoleon  for  annihilating  the  army  of  Kutusov 
before  he  could  be  reinforced  had  entirelv  failed, 
owing  partly  to  the  impetuosity  of  Murat,  and  partly 
to  the  admirable  strategy  of  the  Russian  general. 

Kutusov  i:)itched  his  camp  in  a  favourable  position 
at  Olschan,  close  to  Olmiitz,  on  ISTovember  22,  and  two 
days  later  the  advanced  guard  of  the  second  Russian 
army  under  the  command  of  the  Grand  Duke  Con- 
stantine  was  able  to  join  him.  They  were  in  a  splen- 
did position,  commanding  a  plain  in  their  front,  their 
rear  protected  by  earthworks,  a  marsh  on  their  right, 
and  a  river  before  their  lines.  Kutusov  had  care- 
fully selected  this  position,  and  would  have  had  a  good 
chance  of  protecting  it  even  against  the  onslaughts  of 
Napoleon.  But  the  young  military  party  induced  him 
to  desert  it  and  to  attack  Napoleon  on  the  way  to 
Briinn,  and  this  proved  his  ruin. 

The  two  Emperors,  Francis  II.  of  Austria  and 


THE  MARCH  TO  AUSTERLITZ.  51 

Alexander  I.  of  Russia,  had  their  headquarters  at 
Olmiitz.  Francis  was  confined  to  his  bed  with  fever, 
the  result  of  continual  diseases.  He  was  stronglj^  in 
favour  of  deferring  an  engagement  until  the  Arch- 
duke Charles  had  arrived  from  Italy,  who  was  march- 
ing at  the  head  of  an  army  of  eighty  thousand  men. 
jSTapoleon  could  not  maintain  his  position  at  Briinn, 
the  camp  at  Olschan  was  unassailable,  and  when  the 
new  army  arrived  and  had  occupied  the  passage  of 
the  Danube  the  French  Emperor  would  be  between 
two  fires.  Seldom  have  such  momentous  results  de- 
pended upon  such  narrow  issues. 

Everything  depended  upon  the  decision  of  Alex- 
ander. He  had  at  first  been  in  favour  of  delay,  but 
on  November  24  a  review  was  held,  to  celebrate  the 
arrival  of  the  guard,  in  which  the  young  Emperor  was 
received  by  the  troops  with  the  wildest  enthusiasm. 
The  Russian  armv  had  been  victorious  at  Diirrenstein 
and  Hollabrunn:  what  might  not  be  expected  when 
they  had  their  sovereign  in  their  midst  ?  Alexander 
was  young,  inexperienced,  greedy  of  glory,  open  to 
flattery.  He  was  inclined  to  believe  that  the  French 
could  not  resist  him.  On  the  following  day  Savary 
arrived  in  the  Russian  camp  bearing  a  letter  from 
Napoleon,  asking  for  a  personal  interview.  The 
Tzar  sent  Prince  Dolgoruki  with  Savary  to  iSTapoleon, 
and  a  conversation  took  place  between  them  on  pos- 
sible conditions  of  peace.  Dolgoruki,  who,  although 
at  the  head  of  the  Young  Party,  was  probably  not  a 
very  experienced  politician,  produced  an  unfavour- 
able effect  on  Napoleon,  and  received  himself  the  im- 
pression that  the  French  army  was  on  the  verge  of  a 
precipice. 

The  impression  was  deepened  by  a  cavalry  en- 
gagement which  took  place  on  November  28,  in  which 


52  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  Russians  were  victorious.  Dolgoruki  com- 
manded, and  Alexander  was  present.  They  believed 
that  under  the  eyes  of  their  sovereign  the  Russian 
army  could  do  anything.  The  policy  of  waiting  for 
the  Archduke  Charles  and  for  the  Prussians  was 
given  up,  and  an  advance  against  Napoleon  resolved 
upon.  Czartoryski  argued  in  vain  that  they  were 
marching  into  the  jaws  of  a  hero  of  a  hundred  fights, 
and  that  in  three  weeks  the  Prussians  would  join 
them  with  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand.  They 
had  only  to  wait  and  all  would  be  well.  These  words 
were  spoken  to  the  wind.  The  advance  was  deter- 
mined upon.  Alexander  undertook  the  command  of 
the  troops,  Kutusov  remaining  general-in-chief,  but 
without  the  main  responsibility.  The  advice  of  the 
Emperor  Francis  was  not  asked,  as  it  was  feared  that 
he  might  opi^ose  the  operations. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  AUSTERLITZ.  53 


CHAPTEK  IX. 

THE   BATTLE    OF    AUSTERLITZ. 

I^APOLEON  had  been  established  at  Briinn  since 
November  19  in  an  admirable  position,  at  the  junc- 
ture of  the  roads  which  lead  to  Vienna  on  the  one 
side  and  to  Olmiitz  on  the  other.  He  now  sum- 
moned Bernadotte  and  Davout  to  his  assistance.  He 
invigorated  the  courage  of  the  army  by  promising 
large  sums  of  money  to  them  and  pensions  to  all  who 
should  be  wounded.  On  December  1  the  two  hosts 
were  within  gunshot  of  each  other.  With  proud  con- 
fidence he  announced  to  his  soldiers  that  the  morrow 
would  put  an  end  to  the  campaign,  and  that  they 
would  then  retire  into  winter  quarters,  while  the  re- 
inforcements which  were  being  collected  in  France 
would  compel  the  enemy  to  a  worthy  peace.  He 
told  Haugwitz,  who  had  been  sent  by  the  Prussians  to 
give  N^apoleon  some  good  advice,  that  he  would  speak 
with  him  after  the  battle,  unless  he  was  himself  killed 
by  a  cannon-ball.  The  soldiers  were  in  the  highest 
state  of  enthusiasm  and  devotion.  The  following 
day,  the  day  of  the  battle,  was  the  anniversary  of  the 
Imperial  coronation.  ISTapoleon  drank  a  glass  of 
"  punch  "  with  his  marshals  and  explained  his  plans. 
He  then  slept  for  a  few  hours  in  an  armchair.  At 
four  o'clock  in  the  morning  he  was  at  the  outposts, 
listening  to  the  noise  which  arose  from  the  enemy's 
camp,  for  the  thick  mist  prevented  anything  from 
being  seen. 


54  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

The  Austrian  General  Wevrotber  liad,  after  study- 
ing the  maps,  made  an  elaborate  plan  of  battle  which 
he  felt  certain  would  resnlt  in  the  defeat  of  Xa- 
poleon.  Langeron,  a  French  emigre,  on  hearing  it, 
asked  Wejrother  if  he  really  thought  that  matters 
would  turn  out  as  he  expected,  and  Bagration  on 
reading  the  plan  expressed  his  opinion  that  the  battle 
was  already  won.  The  scheme  consisted  of  a  design 
to  outflank  the  French  and  to  drive  them  into  Bo- 
hemia, but  Napoleon  by  his  last  dispositions  had 
made  the  design  useless,  even  before  it  was  at- 
tempted. 

It  is  difficult  for  one  who  visits  the  field  of  Auster- 
litz  at  the  present  day  to  understand  the  features  of 
the  fight,  because  the  ground  has  been  so  completely 
changed  by  modern  conditions  of  agriculture.  We 
will  do  our  best  to  make  it  intelligible.  Whilst  Na- 
poleon stood  at  the  outposts  in  the  early  morning  the 
French  camp  was  silent,  but  that  of  the  allies  was 
full  of  motion.  The  sentries  could  hardly  see  each 
other  at  ten  paces,  but  the  great  commander  witnessed 
the  bivouac  fires  gradually  paling  towards  the  north 
and  torches  moved  towards  the  south.  They  were 
leaving  Pratzen  and  marching  towards  Tellnitz,  with 
the  proud  idea  of  surrounding  the  French.  Na- 
poleon knew  that  to  do  this  would  be  to  weaken  their 
centre.  He  would  shift  his  troops  towards  the  north, 
fall  like  an  avalanche  upon  their  disorderly  col- 
umns and  scatter  them  to  the  wind.  He  returned 
cheerfully  to  his  tent  posted  upon  a  height.  One 
by  one  his  marshals  came  and  spoke  to  him.  He 
gave  them  all  the  same  advice :  to  remain  quiet,  to  re- 
strain their  enthusiasm,  and  to  await  until  the  enemy 
had  incurred  all  the  consequences  of  their  error. 

Owing  to  the  mist  the  allied  army  marched  on 


THE  BATTLE  OF  AUSTERLITZ.  55 

within  cannon-shot  of  I^apoleon  and  his  marshals, 
"without  an  idea  that  they  were  in  the  neighbourhood. 
It  had  been  arranged  that  the  columns  should  pass 
the  defile  of  the  Goldbach  in  different  places,  the 
first  at  Tellnitz,  the  second  between  Tellnitz  and 
Sokolnitz,  the  third  at  Sokolnitz  itself,  while  the 
Austrian  cavalry  were  to  seize  the  monastery  of 
Raigern.  They  were  to  keep  in  parallel  order,  and 
take  care  that  the  head  of  one  column  should  not  get 
before  the  head  of  another. 

Suddenly  the  battle  burst  when  the  allies  least  ex- 
pected it.  The  Austrian  hussars  were  assailed  at 
Tellnitz  by  the  French  sharpshooters.  Tellnitz  was, 
however,  captured  by  the  first  column,  which  now 
waited  for  the  advance  of  the  second.  Davout,  who 
had  been  posted  in  the  monastery  of  Raigeru,  ad- 
vanced and  attempted  to  drive  the  allies  out  of  Tell- 
nitz, but  at  this  point  the  French  were  defeated. 
Similarly  the  second  column  was  able  to  drive  the 
French  from  the  village  of  Sokolnitz,  and  the  third 
to  occupy  the  castle  of  the  same  name,  although 
Davout  displayed  marvels  of  energy  in  their  de- 
fence ;  for  the  moment  the  allies  were  victorious  on 
their  left  wing. 

But  the  master  of  the  fight,  N^apoleon,  remained 
quiet  in  the  centre.  He  had  forbidden  any  advance 
till  nine  o'clock.  Then,  on  that  winter's  morning, 
arose  the  sun  of  Austerlitz,  blood-red  and  majestic, 
a  presage  of  slaughter  and  victory.  The  mist  was 
split  asunder,  the  heights  became  visible,  like  islands 
in  a  sea ;  at  length  a  gust  of  wind  dispersed  the  fog, 
and  the  battle  array  of  the  French  became  visible  to 
all.  It  was  then  seen  that  the  heights  of  Pratzen 
were  but  feebly  held,  while  the  Austrian  army  was 
engaged  in  the  depths  of   Tellnitz   and   Sokolnitz. 


56  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Xapoleon  said  to  Soult,  "  How  long  would  it  take 
yon  to  occiipj  the  heights  of  Pratzen  ?  "  "  Less  than 
twenty  minutes,"  was  the  reply.  "  Then  we  will 
wait  twenty  minutes,"  said  the  Emperor,  "  and  not 
disturb  the  enemy  in  their  false  movement."  At  last 
he  drew  his  glove  from  that  soft,  tiny  right  hand 
which  Heine  has  described  so  well,  and  said,  "  l^ow 
is  the  time."  Napoleon  rode  at  the  head  of  his 
marshals,  and  cried,  "  The  enemy  have  delivered 
themselves  to  us  by  their  folly,  we  will  now  end  the 
war  with  one  shock  of  thunder." 

The  two  Emperors  were  with  the  fourth  division, 
commanded  by  Kutusov;  Alexander  in  black  uni- 
form, Francis  in  white.  Kutusov  was  just  begin- 
ning to  advance  when  the  mist  lifted,  and  he  saw 
with  horror  the  centre  of  the  French  army  in  battle 
array  before  him  in  front  of  the  defiles,  whereas  he 
imagined  that  it  was  behind  them.  One  of  the  first 
shots  fired  struck  Kutusov  in  the  cheek.  He  said, 
'"  It  is  not  mortal,  but  there  is  the  mortal  wound," 
pointing  to  the  heights  of  Pratzen.  Yandamme  and 
Saint  Hilaire,  Murat  and  Soult  stormed  the  heights 
on  which  the  Russians  Avere  posted.  A  wild  scene 
of  confusion  ensued.  The  two  Emperors  were  lost 
in  the  surging  throng;  no  one  knew  what  had  be- 
come of  Kutusov.  The  mass  of  the  allies  retreated 
towards  Austerlitz.  In  two  hours  the  heights  of 
Pratzen,  the  key  of  the  allied  position,  were  complete- 
ly conquered,  and  the  allied  army  was  cut  into  two 
parts. 

Such  were  the  operations  on  the  left  and  in  the 
centre  of  the  allies ;  their  fortunes  fared  no  better 
U]ion  the  right.  Lannes  and  Murat  were  opposed  to 
Lichtenstein  and  Bagration.  In  accordance  with 
Weyrother's  plan,  Prince  Lichtenstein  was  to  seize  a 


THE  BATTLE  OF  AUSTERLITZ.  57 

position  which  was  already  in  the  hands  of  the 
French.  The  Grand  Duke  Constantine,  posted  on 
his  left,  performed  prodigies  of  valour,  and  exhibited 
the  greatest  steadfastness  and  endurance.  The 
battle  on  this  side  raged  round  Blasiowitz,  which 
had  been  occupied  by  the  French  Guard  before  the  ar- 
rival of  Lichtenstein.  Constantino  attacked  with  the 
bavonet,  and  the  French  line  beoan  to  waver,  when 
ISTapoleon,  who  was  posted  at  Blasiowitz,  sent  the 
cavalry  of  the  Guard  to  their  assistance.  Guard 
struggled  against  Guard,  and  the  Russians  captured 
an  eagle.  Xapoleon  sent  also  reinforcements  under 
Rapp,  which  compelled  the  Russians  to  retreat.  A 
similar  struggle  Avas  raging  on  the  Olmtitz  road  be- 
tween Lannes  and  Bagration.  The  Russians  were 
at  length  defeated  and  retreated  towards  Austerlitz. 
The  baggage  of  the  allies  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
French.  The  result  of  the  battle  on  the  right  wing 
was  that  two  thousand  dead  and  wounded  covered 
the  field,  and  that  Lannes  had  made  four  thousand 
prisoners. 

Wlien  Xapoleon  had  severed  the  centre  of  the 
enemy  he  left  Bernadotte  in  possession  of  Pratzen, 
and  with  the  divisions  of  Soult  and  Oudinot  followed 
the  same  line  of  march  which  the  left  of  the  allies 
had  taken  in  the  .morning.  His  design  was  to  fall 
upon  their  rear  and  destroy  them  entirely.  The  re- 
mainder of  the  battle  is  a  tale  of  flight  and  slaughter. 
The  allies  were  attacked  in  the  same  positions  which 
they  had  captured  so  valiantly  in  the  early  hours  of 
the  day.  In  this  part  of  the  field  were  a  number  of 
ponds,  at  this  time  of  the  year  covered  with  ice.  In 
these  the  Russians  took  refuge,  but  the  French  artil- 
lery was  turned  upon  the  frozen  surface,  and  many 
Russians  were  droA^iied.     Imagination  has  busied  it- 


58  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

self  with  the  creation  of  frozen  lakes,  their  treacher- 
ous surface  crushed  hj  the  red-hot  bullets  of  the 
French,  thousands  of  the  enemy  perishing  in  the  last 
rays  of  the  winter  sun,  but  historic  truth  will  not 
admit  this  exaggeration.  The  ponds  are  now  dried 
up  and  it  is  difficult  to  estimate  their  extent,  but  it  is 
probable  that  the  number  who  perished  in  them  did 
not  exceed  a  hundred.  At  any  rate  the  victory  was 
complete.  Those  who  escaped  death  or  capture  fled 
to  Austerlitz,  and  the  French  occupied  the  ground 
which  the  Russians  had  taken. 

The  night  came  on  early  and  quickly.  After  the 
fog  of  the  morning  had  lifted  the  day  was  cold  and 
clear;  clouds  rose  in  the  afternoon,  and  snow  and 
rain  now  began  to  fall.  But  all  through  the  winter 
night  such  Russians  as  survived  retreated  from  their 
terrible  foe.  The  allies  had  struggled  bravely, 
but  they  were  entirely  defeated.  The  Austrians  lost 
about  six  thousand  men ;  the  Russians  acknowledged 
their  loss  to  be  twenty-one  thousand,  but  it  more  prob- 
ably reached  thirty-three  thousand.  Two-thirds  of 
their  artillery  were  captured.  The  loss  of  the  French 
must  also  have  been  great,  but  they  prided  themselves 
on  the  possession  of  one  hundred  and  thirty-six  cap- 
tured guns. 

Such  was  the  battle  of  Austerlitz,  one  of  the  great- 
est monimients  of  Napoleon's  military  genius.  He 
infused  a  new  spirit  into  the  use  of  troops,  although 
he  made  but  little  changes  in  military  organisation, 
and  confined  himself  to  the  improvement  of  the  ma- 
chine which  he  had  received  from  the  Revolution. 
Still  his  plans  had  certain  necessities  for  their  execu- 
tion which  could  only  be  provided  by  new  expedients. 
He  required  large  masses  which  he  could  manoeuvre 
rapidly,  a  numerous  cavalry,  both  heavy  and  light,  for 


THE  BATTLE  OF  AUSTERLITZ.  59 

the  purpose  of  combat  and  of  exploration,  and  a  pow- 
erful reserve.  For  the  old  divisions  he  substituted 
corps  d'armee,  equal  in  number  to  two  or  three  di- 
visions, with  a  staff,  an  artillery  and  a  light  cavalry 
of  their  own.  He  placed  Murat  at  the  head  of  a 
cavalry  of  reserve — hussars,  dragoons,  cuirassiers — 
who  would  go  anywhere  and  dare  everything.  As  a 
final  reserve  the  Emperor  kept  in  his  own  hands  the 
Imperial  Guard,  a  select  army  of  fifty  thousand  men, 
all  seasoned  veterans,  attached  to  the  fortunes  of  the 
Empire  and  to  the  glory  of  their  master.  He  also 
largely  increased  the  number  of  the  artillery.  But, 
curiously  enough,  he  made  few  changes  in  the  arma- 
ments of  his  troops.  They  were  armed  to  the  end 
with  flint  muskets,  and  with  old-fashioned  cannon. 

After  the  battle  Napoleon  placed  his  headquarters 
in  the  castle  of  Austerlitz,  from  which  he  dated  his 
bulletins,  and  which  he  selected  to  give  the  name  of 
his  victory,  although  the  village  itself  had  scarcely 
been  included  in  his  sphere  of  operations.  Peace  with 
Austria  was  concluded  at  Pressburg  before  the  end  of 
the  year,  but  the  conditions  of  that  pacification  belong 
rather  to  political  than  to  military  history. 


60  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEK  X. 

THE  BATTLES   OF   JE^iTA  AiSTD  AUERSTADT. 

The  battle  of  Austerlitz  and  the  peace  of  Press- 
burg  were  followed  bj  great  changes  in  Germany.  It 
was  Xapoleon's  object  to  weaken  Austria  as  much  as 
possible  and  to  destroy  the  German  Empire  of  which 
she  was  the  head.  He  was  the  consolidator  of  the 
principles  of  the  French  Revolution,  the  enemy  of 
feudality  and  of  the  old  state  of  things,  the  "  Ancien 
Pegime."  In  gratitude  for  their  neutrality  he  raised 
the  Electors  of  Bavaria  and  Wiirtemberg  to  the  rank 
of  Kings,  a  position  which  they  still  maintain.  He 
formed  the  Confederation  of  the  Rhine  from  these 
two  States  and  others  in  the  south  and  west  of  Ger- 
many, and  became  himself  the  Protector  of  it.  The 
Holy  Roman  Empire,  which  had  existed  for  a  thou- 
sand years,  came  to  an  end  on  August  6,  1806,  and 
the  Emperor  Francis  II.,  who  had  assumed  the  title 
of  Francis  II.,  Emperor  of  Austria,  two  years  before, 
now  laid  down  his  superior  title  in  obedience  to  his 
conqueror.  A  number  of  small  princes  were  "  media- 
tised," as  it  was  called,  losing  their  sovereign  power, 
but  keeping  their  property  and  patrimonial  rights, 

Prussia  had  seen  the  defeat  of  Austria,  and  the 
subjection  of  Southern  and  Western  Germany  to  the 
power  of  jSTapoleon,  without  being  aware  to  what  ex- 
tent her  own  safety  was  endangered.  In  iSTovember, 
1805,  she  had  attempted  to  desert  the  position  of 
neutrality  Avhich  she  had  taken  up  two  years  before, 


THE  BATTLES  OF  JENA  AND  AUERSTADT.       61 

and,  as  we  have  seen,  had  despatched  Ilaugwitz  to  the 
headquarters  of  Napoleon  just  before  the  battle  of 
Austerlitz.  She  then  committed  the  serious  fault  of 
irritating  the  conqueror  to  the  utmost  without  afford- 
ing the  slightest  assistance  to  his  enemies.  The  re- 
sult of  this  was  the  humiliating  treaty  of  Schon- 
brunn  signed  by  Haugwitz  with  Napoleon  a  fortnight 
after  the  battle,  by  which  Prussia  surrendered  to 
France  the  portion  of  the  Duchy  of  Cleve  which  lay 
on  the  right  bank  of  the  Rhine,  the  fortress  of  Wesel, 
and  the  principality  of  Neufchatel;  to  Bavaria  the 
Margravate  of  Anslaach,  receiving  in  exchange  Han- 
over, with  the  duty  of  excluding  the  English  from 
the  harbours  of  the  Korth  Sea.  To  escape  the  wrath 
of  France  she  incurred  the  hostility  of  England. 
The  conditions  of  the  treaty  of  Schonbrunn  were 
made  more  degrading  and  exacting  by  the  treaty  of 
Paris  signed  in  February,  1806,  and  Prussia  actually 
went  so  far  as  to  declare  war  against  England,  with- 
out improving  her  relations  Avith  Napoleon.  He 
could  only  regard  such  vacillation  and  meanness  with 
contempt. 

It  now  came  to  the  ears  of  the  Prussian  govern- 
ment that  Napoleon  in  his  negotiations  for  peace 
with  England  had  offered  the  restoration  of  Han- 
over, which  he  had  already  given  to  Prussia.  He 
had  also  held  out  to  Russia  the  tempting  bait  of 
Prussian  Poland,  and  had  talked  of  recompensing 
the  Neapolitan  Bourbons  by  the  gift  of  the  Hanse 
towns.  This  was  more  than  their  patience  could 
bear,  and  the  mobilisation  of  the  Prussian  army  was 
ordered  on  August  9.  That  army  was  indeed  little  fit- 
ted to  cope  with  an  antagonist  like  Napoleon.  It  de- 
pended upon  the  reputation  of  Frederick  the  Great, 
but  it  had  not  advanced  since  his  time.     It  had  been 


62  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

brought  up  in  the  aristocratic  ideas  of  the  old  regime 
and  had  no  conception  of  the  strength  of  a 
democratic  host.  The  officers  had  grown  old  in 
their  stiff  uniforms  and  their  pride  of  rank.  The 
machine  moved  slowly  and  with  effort,  and  had 
nothina;  of  the  efficiency  and  hardiness  of  the  French. 
Arms,  clothing  and  commissariat  were  all  of  an 
obsolete  pattern,  more  suited  for  the  parade  ground 
than  for  the  field.  If  thev  could  march  with  regular- 
ity and  precision  their  arms  were  too  often  of  no  use 
whatever.  An  enormous  amount  of  baggage  fol- 
lowed their  movements.  It  is  said  that  a  certain 
lieutenant  even  took  a  f)iaQoforte  with  him  on  the 
march.  Where  the  French  were  content  to  bivouac 
in  the  open  field  the  Prussians  could  not  dispense 
with  their  tents.  The  French  drew  their  supplies 
from  the  enemv's  countrv ;  the  Prussians  carried 
their  magazines  with  tliem.  It  was  an  armv  whose 
strength  existed  only  on  paper.  It  was  composed 
largely  of  foreigners ;  desertions  were  frequent ;  the 
severest  punishments  were  ineffectual  to  maintain 
discipline,  and  the  troops  were  as  miserably  paid  as 
they  were  contemptibly  organised. 

Moreover,  the  position  of  Prussia  was  isolated,  as 
might  be  expected  from  her  wavering  and  uncertain 
policy.  Austria  was  exhausted,  England  was  but 
half-hearted  in  her  cause,  and  the  question  of  Han- 
over was  an  apple  of  discord  between  them.  On  the 
other  hand,  the  French  were  in  admirable  order, 
posted  on  the  Prussian  and  Saxon  frontiers,  ready  to 
strike.  The  best  of  Xapoleon's  marshals,  Soult, 
Xey,  Berthier,  Davout,  Bernadotte,  Augereau, 
Lannes,  and  Murat,  were  posted  in  Bavaria,  Fran- 
conia  and  ^Yiirtemberg  with  two  hundred  thousand 
men.     The  Prussian  army  was  inferior  in  nimibers, 


THE  BATTLES  OF  JENA  AND  AUERSTADT.       63 

and  its  divisions  were  scattered.  ]^o  adequate 
preparations  had  been  made ;  at  headquarters  there 
was  no  unity  of  plan,  no  energy  or  decision.  The 
generals  were  advanced  in  years ;  the  Duke  of  Bruns- 
wick numbered  seventy-one;  Field-Marshal  Mollen- 
dorf,  who  had  fought  under  Frederick  the  Great  in 
Silesia,  eighty-one  years.  ^Notwithstanding  this  an 
ultimatum  was  addressed  to  Napoleon  on  September 
25,  1806,  which  could  only  receive  one  answer,  and 
the  war  was  immediately  begun. 

The  mass  of  the  French  army  was  posted  in  the 
valley  of  the  Main,  six  corps  d'armee  being  con- 
centrated between  Wiirzburg  and  Bamberg.  I^a- 
poleon  reached  Mainz  on  September  28.  The  Prus- 
sian army  was  established  in  the  forest  of  Thuringia 
on  the  main  road  between  the  Rhine  and  the  heart  of 
Germany.  Napoleon's  plan  was  to  advance  by  the 
upper  waters  of  the  Saale,  to  turn  the  Prussian  left, 
and  to  march  on  to  Berlin.  For  this  jDurpose  three 
roads  lay  at  his  disj)osal,  all  passing  through  Fran- 
conia;  one  from  Coburg  to  Saalfeld,  another  from 
Kronach  to  Schleitz,  and  a  third  from  Bayreuth  to 
Hof.  He  determined  to  utilise  all  three,  to  con- 
centrate in  the  valley  of  the  Saale,  where  the  roads 
debouched,  and  to  march  on  to  Berlin  with  a  united 
force  of  two  hundred  thousand  men.  Brunswick, 
whose  troops  were  at  Erfurt  and  Weimar,  determined 
to  await  the  development  of  Napoleon's  plans,  whilst 
Hohenlohe,  who  was  on  the  right  bank  of  the  upper 
Saale,  considered  himself  sufficiently  protected  by 
detachments  placed  at  Schleitz  and  at  Saalfeld, 
where  the  roads  from  the  Franconian  forest  find  their 
issue. 

The  French  crossed  the  frontier  of  Saxony  on 
October  8,       The  central  road  of  the  three  above 


64  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

enumerated  was  taken  by  the  cavalry  of  Mnrat,  who 
also  kept  an  eve  on  the  other  two.  With  the  assist- 
ance of  Bernadotte  he  occupied  Saalburg,  and  at- 
tacked on  October  9  at  Schleitz  ten  thousand  Prus- 
sians under  General  Tauenzien.  Surprised  and  dis- 
persed, they  were  driven  back  in  disorder  on  the  army 
of  Hohenlohe.  Soult,  following  the  easternmost 
road,  reached  Hof  without  meeting  an  enemy,  but  on 
October  10  the  division  of  Prince  Louis  Ferdinand, 
posted  at  the  end  of  the  westernmost  road,  was  at- 
tacked by  Lannes.  The  Prussians  were  driven  back 
and  Prince  Louis,  refusing  to  surrender,  found  the 
death  which  he  so  earnestly  desired.  The  upper 
waters  of  the  Saale  were  now  entirely  in  the  hands  of 
the  French,  and  ISTapoleon,  keeping  strictly  in  view 
his  objective,  Berlin,  moved  on  to  Gera,  believing 
that  on  his  side  Hohenlohe  would  march  rapidly 
down  the  Saale  and  reach  the  valley  of  the  Elbe. 

Hohenlohe,  on  the  contrary,  crossed  the  Saale  at 
Jena,  in  order  to  join  the  army  of  Brunswick.  The 
Prussians  were  now  concentrated  in  a  compact  mass 
between  Erfurt,  Weimar  and  Jena,  and  IsTapoleon 
determined  to  attack  them  there.  He  made  prepara- 
tions to  guard  the  outlets  of  the  river,  and  with  this 
object  despatched  Bernadotte  and  Davout  to  occupy 
the  bridges  of  Dornburg  and  j^aumburg.  By  these 
manoeuvres,  the  Prussian  army,  which  was  on  the  left 
bank  of  the  Saale,  was  cut  off  from  Berlin  by  the 
French,  who  occupied  the  right  bank.  ISTapoleon 
thought  that  he  had  succeeded  in  forcing  the  enemy 
to  a  battle,  but  Brunswick,  being  afraid  lest  he 
should  be  cut  off  from  the  Elbe  and  should  suffer 
the  fate  of  Mack,  determined  to  escape  by  the  defile 
of  Kosen,  leaving  Hohenlohe  to  watch  the  valley  of 
the  Saale.       Hohenlohe,  thinking  that  the  French 


THE  BATTLES  OF  JENA  AND  AUERSTADT.       65 

were  j^ressing  on  towards  the  Elbe,  thought  that  he 
had  but  little  to  fear  on  this  side  of  Jena,  so  he  posted 
his  troops  on  the  heights  which  extend  from  Jena  in 
the  direction  of  Weimar,  but  neglected  to  occupy  the 
town  and  the  passage  which  lead  to  the  heights. 

Napoleon  reached  Jena  on  October  13,  where  he 
met  Lannes,  and  determined  to  attack  on  the  follow- 
ing day.  He  sent  his  troops  up  the  narrow  ap- 
proaches which  lead  to  the  high  ground,  but  had  some 
difficulty  with  his  artillery.  The  roads  had  to  be 
enlarged  by  torchlight  under  N^apoleou's  supervision. 
It  needed  twelve  horses  to  drag  a  cannon  up  the 
hill.  The  Emperor's  tent  was  pitched  in  the 
middle  of  his  guard,  but  few  fires  were  lighted.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  numerous  watch-fires  of  Hohen- 
lohe  blazed  forth  on  tlie  road  to  Weimar,  Avhile  those 
of  the  retreating  Brunswick  glimmered  towards  the 
north. 

The  cold  bright  night  was  succeeded  by  a  misty 
morning,  recalling  the  great  day  of  Austerlitz. 
]!^apolcon,  lighted  by  torches,  visited  the  troops,  and 
advised  them  to  be  on  their  guard  against  the  Prus- 
sian cavalry  and  to  form  themselves  into  squares. 
He  said  that  the  Prussians  were  already  cut  off  from 
the  Elbe  and  the  Oder.  The  battle  was  engaged  be- 
fore the  mist  had  lifted.  By  nine  o'clock  Napoleon 
had  gained  space  for  the  development  of  his  army; 
Augereau  came  to  his  assistance  from  the  left,  Soult 
from  the  right ;  ISTey  and  Murat  hurried  to  the  scene 
of  conflict.  After  a  short  rest  Napoleon  began  a 
second  attack  with  fresh  troops.  Augereau  and 
Soult  had  some  difficulty  in  reaching  the  plateau  up 
the  steep  paths  which  led  to  it,  and  Ney,  who  was  re- 
pelling the  Prussian  cavalry  with  his  squares,  was  in 
danger  of  being  captured.  But  the  issue  was  soon 
5 


66  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

decided  by  the  advance  of  Napoleon's  guard.  The 
army  of  Hohenlohe  wavered,  broke  and  fled  along  the 
road  to  AVeimar.  Riichel,  whom  he  had  summoned 
from  that  city,  came  too  late  to  help  and  was  involved 
in  the  disaster. 

The  victory  was  complete.  Murat  followed  the 
fue;itives  far  bevond  Weimar.  The  field  was  covered 
with  corpses  and  abandoned  arms.  The  Germans 
had  lost  twelve  thousand  dead  and  wounded  and  two 
hundred  guns.  The  poet  Goethe  feared  for  his  life 
in  Weimar.  Jena  was  plundered  and  burnt.  It  is 
said  that  Hegel  continued  writing  his  treatise  of 
PlioonomenoJogy  during  the  progress  of  the  battle, 
and  that  when  his  house  was  plundered  he  stuffed  it 
into  his  pocket  and  fled  to  Niiremberg. 

On  the  day  of  the  battle  of  Jena,  October  14, 
180G,  Davout  won  the  battle  of  Auerstiidt,  which 
completed  the  destruction  of  the  Prussian  army.  The 
King  of  Prussia  and  the  Duke  of  Brunswick  had  re- 
treated along  the  road  from  Weimar  to  Naumburg  in 
five  divisions,  and  had  halted  in  Auerstadt,  intending 
to  pass  the  bridge  of  Kosen  on  the  following  day.  On 
the  evening  of  October  13  Davout  was  informed  at 
ISTaumburg  that  the  King's  army  was  approaching. 
On  that  he  sent  a  detachment  to  occupy  the  bridge  of 
Kosen,  and  went  in  person  to  Bernadotte  to  ask  for 
his  assistance.  Bernadotte  refused,  alleging  the  order 
of  Napoleon  that  they  should  observe  the  bridge  at 
Naumburg.  Nevertheless  Davout  determined  with 
twenty-six  thousand  men  to  oppose  the  royal  army, 
which  was  sixty-six  thousand  men  strong,  and  occu- 
pied the  bridge  of  Kosen  during  the  night  with  three 
divisions. 

At  six  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  October  14  he  oc- 
cupied a  height  which  commands  the  hollow  of  Has- 


THE  BATTLES  OF  JENA  AND  AUERSTaDT.      67 

senhausen,  and  in  this  place  the  battle  was  actually 
fought.  Scarcely  had  he  done  this  when  the  heads  of 
the  Prussian  columns  advanced.  The  Held  was  cov- 
ered with  thick  mist,  so  that  the  Prussians  had  no  idea 
of  the  presence  of  the  enemy.  Bllicher,  who  was  in 
command  of  the  rear-guard,  found  himself  unexpect- 
edly engaged  with  the  French  cavalry.  Davout, 
finding  that  the  engagement  had  begun,  brought  up 
his  artillery  and  fired  into  the  masses  of  the  enemy. 
The  battle  raged  round  IIas[>enhausen,  which  was 
bravely  defended  by  the  French.  In  their  attempts 
to  capture  it  Schmettau  was  killed,  the  aged  Mollen- 
dorf  was  mortally  wounded,  and  the  King  had  a  horse 
killed  under  him.  Brunswick,  whilst  he  was  urging 
his  soldiers  to  the  attack,  was  struck  by  a  shot  which 
deprived  him  of  the  sight  of  both  eyes,  and  he  was  led 
from  the  field,  his  face  covered  with  a  cloth.  The 
French,  formed  into  squares,  withstood  the  assault 
of  ten  thousand  cavalry,  and  none  of  the  squares  were 
broken.  At  last  they  changed  into  a  column  of  attack 
and  drove  the  Prussians  from  the  village.  Bliicher 
strongly  urged  the  renewal  of  the  engagement,  and 
was  supported  by  the  King,  but  the  opinion  prevailed 
that  they  should  await  the  arrival  of  ITohenlohe  and 
Riichel,  not  knowing  that  they  had  been  already 
beaten  in  the  battle  of  Jena. 

They  therefore  began  the  retreat,  leaving  ten  thou- 
sand dead  and  wounded  on  the  field  and  one  hundred 
and  fifteen  guns  in  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  The 
French  had  also  suffered  severely.  Out  of  I  )avout's 
twenty-six  thousand  men  seven  thousand  were  dead 
or  wounded  and  the  rest  were  so  exhausted  that  pur- 
suit was  impossible.  General  Kalkreuth  was  ordered 
to  lead  thei  reserve  to  Weimar,  and  to  collect  the  strag- 
glers in  that  town.     But  at  Apolda,  half-way  between 


eS  WAES  OF  THE  CENTUEY. 

Jena  and  Weimar,  he  heard  that  Hohenlohe  and 
Riichel  were  defeated  and  that  Weimar  was  in  the 
hands  of  the  French ;  he  was  therefore  oblig;ed  to 
take  another  route.  All  hope  was  at  an  end,  all  dis- 
cipline was  lost.  The  soldiers  wandered  in  the  woods, 
throwing  away  their  arms  and  knapsacks,  which  hin- 
dered their  flight.  Xot  only  were  the  battles  of  Jena 
and  Auerstiidt  lost,  but  the  whole  army  was  destroyed. 
It  was  difficult  for  any  one  to  believe  that  Prussia 
could  continue  to  exist  as  a  kingdom.  Napoleon  re- 
sumed his  march  to  Berlin,  which  he  entered  on  Oc- 
tober 27. 


THE  BATTLES  OF  EYLAU  AND  FRIEDLAND.     69 


CHAPTER  XI. 

THE  BATTLES  OF  EYLAU  AXD  FRIEDLAND. 

The  disastrous  defeats  of  Jena  and  Auerstadt  did 
not  immediately  put  an  end  to  the  war.  The  King  of 
Prussia  fled  to  Konigsberg,  and  the  Ministers  whom 
he  left  behind  at  Berlin  were  ready  to  make  almost 
every  possible  sacrifice  for  peace.  But  Xapoleon  de- 
manded more  than  they  could  give.  The  Russians 
were  still  in  arms,  as  they  had  not  been  included  in 
the  treaty  of  Pressburg,  and  Xapoleon  gave  the  Prus- 
sians to  understand  that  if  he  should  once  more  defeat 
the  Emperor  of  Russia,  the  kingdom  of  Prussia 
would  soon  cease  to  exist. 

When  the  war  began  anew  the  only  Prussian  army 
consisted  of  twenty-five  thousand  men  posted  on  the 
farthest  north-east  corner  of  the  monarchy,  from  the 
bank  of  the  Vistula  to  the  frontiers  of  Russia.  In 
the  middle  of  November  the  divisions  of  Davout, 
Lannes  and  Augereau  were  established  upon  this 
river,  and  at  the  end  of  the  month  Murat,  Ney,  Soult 
and  Bernadotte  moved  in  the  same  direction.  Xa- 
poleon  entered  Posen,  the  capital  of  Prussian  Poland, 
on  Xovember  27,  1806.  From  this  city  he  issued  his 
famous  proclamation  to  the  Poles,  summoning  them 
to  freedom.  They  replied  with  enthusiasm  and 
formed  themselves  into  battalions  and  regiments 
which  placed  themselves  under  the  command  of  the 
conqueror.     On  the  second  of  January,  1807,  Xapo- 


70  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

leon  entered  Warsaw  amidst  the  universal  joy  of  the 
people. 

Russia,  who  was  the  only  effective  ally  of  Prussia 
at  this  moment,  had  sent  two  armies  into  that  country, 
and  the  combined  Russian  and  Prussian  forces  were 
placed  under  the  command  of  Benningsen.  But 
his  operations  were  marked  with  uncertainty,  and 
could  lead  only  to  disaster.  He  first  determined  to 
retreat  from  the  line  of  the  Vistula,  and  deserted 
the  fortress  of  Thorn,  which  had  been  bravely  de- 
fended by  L'Estocq.  His  plans  were  then  changed 
and  it  was  determined  to  meet  I^Tapoleon.  The  great 
battle  of  Preussich  Evlau,  one  of  the  most  murderous 
of  these  wars,  was  fought  on  February  7  and  8,  1807. 
Benningsen  had  determined  to  march  towards  the 
sea-coast  by  Marienburg,  Elbing,  and  Danzig,  hoping 
to  find  there  plenty  of  supplies,  to  surprise  the  French 
left,  crumple  up  Bernadotte  and  compel  Napoleon  to 
leave  Warsaw  in  order  to  defend  the  lower  Vistula. 
The  scheme  was  a  bold  one,  and  it  was  so  well  car- 
ried out  that  he  reached  Heilsberg  on  January  22, 
without  the  French  being  aware  of  his  approach. 
jSTapoleon  soon  divined  the  plans  of  Benningsen.  He 
determined  to  pass  round  the  Russian  army  in  a 
curve,  and,  if  his  left  wing  could  only  hold  their 
ground,  to  attack  them  on  two  sides  and  to  drive 
them  towards  the  sea.  The  to^^^l  of  Allenstein  was 
designated  as  the  place  of  concentration;  and 
Davout,  Soult,  Augereau  and  ]S[ey  were  to  march 
thither.  Bernadotte  was  to  retreat  slowly  towards 
the  Vistula  so  as  to  entice  the  Russians  to  that  river, 
and  then  by  forced  marches  to  join  the  left  wing  of 
the  main  army  in  order  to  drive  the  Russians  to- 
wards the  sea.  Frost  had  now  set  in,  which 
facilitated    the    movements    of    the    troops.       The 


THE  BATTLES  OF  EYLAU  AND  FRIEDLAND.       71 

Russians  were  being  gradually  entangled  in  a  net 
from  which  it  was  impossible  for  them  to  escape. 

Luckily  for  them  a  Cossack  was  taken  prisoner, 
who  bore  a  letter  from  the  Emperor  to  Bernadotte 
which  gave  a  full  account  of  Napoleon's  plans.  Ben- 
ningsen  became  aware  of  his  danger  and  retired  to 
Allenstein.  But  Napoleon  was  determined  upon 
fighting  a  decisive  battle,  and  moving  with  great 
rapidity  succeeded  in  intercepting  the  Russians. 
Benningsen  could  only  get  as  far  as  Eylau,  which  he 
reached  on  February  7.  That  evening  a  serious  en- 
gagement took  place,  the  result  of  which  was  that  the 
Russians  were  first  driven  back  into  Eylau,  and  then, 
after  a  hardly  contested  struggle,  carried  on  from 
street  to  street,  from  the  town  to  the  churchyard  and 
from  the  churchyard  to  the  heights.  Here  Benning- 
sen determined  to  make  a  final  stand. 

Napoleon  had  sent  orders  to  Davout  and  Ney  to 
march  with  all  haste  to  his  support.  He  spent  the 
night  in  the  post-house  of  Eylau,  sleeping  for  two 
hours  in  an  armchair.  The  Russians  were  superior 
to  the  French  in  artillery  and  infantry,  but  the 
French  outnumbered  the  Russians  in  cavalry. 

In  the  early  morning  of  that  fatal  day  Napoleon 
mounted  his  horse  to  survey  the  position  of  the 
enemy.  The  Russians  were  drawn  up  in  solid 
masses,  protected  by  a  very  numerous  artillery.  An- 
other division  of  artillerv,  scarcelv  inferior  in  num- 
ber,  was  posted  in  the  rear  of  the  main  body.  The 
Russian  cavalry  was  placed  partly  on  the  flank  and 
partly  with  the  reserve.  Their  whole  army  formed 
a  massive  wall,  pouring  forth  a  deadly  fire  from  its 
embrasures.  Napoleon  hesitated  to  attack  the 
enemy  in  front  and  determined  to  operate  upon  their 
flank.     He   placed   his   guard    and   cavalry   in   the 


72  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

rear  where  tbej  would  not  be  exposed  to  the  Russian 
fire. 

At  daybreak  the  Russians  began  the  struggle  with 
a  terrible  cannonade,  which  was  answered  by  the 
French.  The  earth  shook  with  the  thunder  of  the 
artillery.  But  the  French  suffered  but  little,  being 
protected  hy  houses,  whereas  the  Russian  ranks  were 
mowed  down.  Davoust  now  appeared  upon  the 
scene  and  was  able  to  hold  his  ground.  At  ten 
o'clock  Xapoleon  began  an  attack  upon  the  left 
Russian  wing,  which  he  attempted  to  force  upon  their 
centre.  This  attack  was  hindered  by  a  violent  storm 
of  snow,  which  drove  in  the  faces  of  the  soldiers  and 
prevented  them  from  following  their  proper  direc- 
tions. The  Russians  had  the  snow  in  their  backs, 
and  they  were  able  to  cut  the  French  line  of  ad- 
vance in  two.  The  Russian  centre  now  began  to 
move  forwards  in  its  turn,  and  the  situation  of 
Xapoleon  became  critical.  He  ordered  Murat  to 
extricate  him,  and  to  attack  the  Russians  with  eighty 
squadrons.  He  succeeded  in  breaking  the  first  three 
lines,  but  was  then  relieved  with  a  heavy  fire  of 
artillery.  During  this  part  of  the  conflict  a  mass  of 
four  thousand  Russian  grenadiers  pressed  on  to- 
wards the  churchyard  where  Xapoleon  was  standing 
with  his  staff,  and  he  was  with  difficulty  saved  by 
the  devotion  of  the  guard.  At  this  decisive  moment 
L'Estocq  appeared  upon  the  field  with  eight  thousand 
Prussians,  anticipating  the  advance  of  Xey  by  two 
hours.  His  arrival  gave  new  vigour  to  the  Russians, 
and  thev  aii'ain  attacked  the  French  under  Davoust. 
The  man  of  iron  will  and  iron  courage  was  not  to  be 
driven  from  his  ground.  He  passed  through  the 
ranks  crying,  "  The  cowards  will  die  in  Siberia,  the 
brave  will  fall  here  as  inen  of  honour,"  and  the 
village  which  he  held  was  never  taken. 


THE  BATTLES  OF  EYLAU  AND  FRIEDLAND.       73 

I^Tight  was  coming  on.  Both  sides  were  tired  out  and 
they  had  no  provisions.  Benningsen  thought  of  re- 
newing the  conflict,  but  hearing  that  ^ej  was  not  far 
off,  determined  upon  a  retreat.  The  next  day  he 
retired  to  Konigsberg.  The  French  remained  in 
possession  of  the  field  of  battle,  but  they  had  lost  at 
least  ten  thousand  men  and  the  Russians  fifteen  thou- 
sand. Napoleon  now  made  serious  offers  of  a  sepa- 
rate peace  to  the  King  of  Prussia,  who  had  taken 
refuge  in  Memel,  but  he  refused  to  desert  his  Russian 
ally  and  would  hear  of  no  terms  in  which  he  was 
not  included.  Tlie  war  was  at  last  put  an  end  to  by 
the  battle  of  Friedland,  situated  a  short  distance  to 
the  east  of  Eylau.  It  was  fought  on  June  14,  the 
anniversary  of  Marengo.  At  one  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing Lannes,  who  had  reached  the  table-land  of  Post- 
henen  on  the  road  froiu  Eylau,  observed  large  masses 
of  troops  before  him.  In  those  northern  latitudes  it 
was  already  light  at  2  a.m.^  and  Lannes  was  con- 
firmed in  his  opinion.  He  had  only  ten  thousand  men 
with  him,  whereas  the  Russians  were  threefold  his 
strength.  They  were  under  the  command  of  Benning- 
sen, who  was  advancing  to  the  relief  of  Konigsberg. 
The  Russians  threw  three  bridges  over  the  Alle,  one 
above  and  two  below  the  town.  It  is  said  that  his 
whole  forces  amounted  at  this  moment  to  seventy-five 
thousand  and  tw^o  hundred  guns.  Lannes  gradually 
received  reinforcements  and  was  able  to  hold  his 
ground,  but  he  was  in  hard  straits,  and  sent  orderly 
after  orderly  to  jSTapoleon  for  assistance. 

The  Emperor  came  riding  up  with  joy.  "  It  is 
the  day  of  Marengo,"  he  cried,  "  for  us  a  day  of  good 
fortune."  Resisting  all  advice  to  defer  the  battle,  he 
determined  to  crush  the  enemy  while  they  were  cross- 
ing the  river,  but  in  order  to  do  this  he  must  get  pos- 


74  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

session  of  Friedland  in  order  to  cut  off  their  retreat. 
He  sent  Xev  forward  to  seize  the  town  and  the  bridges 
at  all  hazards.  "  The  man  is  a  lion,"  said  Xapoleon 
when  he  witnessed  his  prowess.  He  pressed  forward 
with  incredible  energy,  seized  the  bridges  and  burnt 
them.  The  Russians  had  now  no  power  of  retreat. 
They  were  entirely  at  the  mercv  of  the  conqueror,  and 
the  battle  raged  during  the  whole  of  that  long  day  till 
ten  o'clock  at  night.  A  third  of  the  Russian  army 
was  dead  or  wounded,  and  the  victor  slept  on  the  field 
of  battle.  Xapoleon  wrote  to  Josephine  that  Fried- 
land  was  a  worthy  sister  to  Marengo,  Austerlitz,  and 
Jena.  The  result  of  the  battle  of  Friedland  was  the 
peace  of  Tilsit,  the  details  of  which  belong  to  history 
of  European  politics. 


PART  THREE. 

THE  WAR  OF  1809. 


CHAPTER  XII. 

THE  FIVE  days'  CAMPAIGN  IN  BAVAEIA. 

The  war  undertaken  bv  Austria  against  l^apoleon 
in  1809  was  the  fruit  of  a  long-cherished  desire  to 
wipe  out  the  disgrace  of  the  treaty  of  Pressburg. 
When  the  French  first  declared  war  against  her  in 
1792  she  was  crystallised  in  the  torpor  of  an  immov- 
able routine,  and  the  disasters  of  two  unsuccessful 
campaigns  were  not  sufficient  to  arouse  her.  It  re- 
quired the  campaign  of  1805,  the  catastrophes  of 
Ulm  and  Austerlitz  and  the  capture  of  Vienna  itself 
to  galvanise  her  into  life.  Convinced  of  her  military 
inferiority,  she  committed  the  care  of  her  reorganiza- 
tion to  the  Archduke  Charles,  whose  presence  before 
Napoleon  in  the  campaign  of  1805  would  perhaps 
have  prevented  the  disastrous  defeat  of  Austerlitz. 
He  created  an  active  army  of  three  hundred  thou- 
sand men  and  a  reserve  of  two  hundred  thousand. 
Encouraged  by  the  arwakening  of  national  feeling  in 
Germany,  by  the  insurrection  in  the  Tyrol,  and  by  the 
ill-success  of  the  French  arms  in  Spain,  the  Emperor 
determined  to  hazard  a  great  stroke  for  independence, 

75 


76  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

and  lie  issued  an  appeal  to  his  country  dated  March 
27,  1809. 

Archduke  Charles  crossed  the  Inn  on  April  10, 
and  at  the  head  of  the  principal  army  invaded 
Bavaria.  Archduke  John,  setting  out  from  Carin- 
tliia,  crossed  the  Karawankas  Alps  in  a  snowstorm 
and  attacked  tlie  army  of  the  Viceroy  Eugene,  com- 
posed of  a  mixture  of  French  and  Italians,  which  was 
advancing  towards  the  Tagliamento.  At  the  same 
time  he  stirred  the  fire  of  patriotism  in  the  moun- 
tains of  the  Tyrol.  Archduke  Ferdinand  was  posted  on 
the  Vistula  to  oppose  the  Polish  army  of  the  Grand 
Duchy  of  Warsaw,  wdiich,  under  Prince  Joseph 
Poniatowsky,  was  threatening  Austrian  Galicia,  and 
an  army  of  thirty-two  thousand  Russians  who  were 
nominally  allies  of  France  but  were  only  lukewarm 
in  the  cause.  The  Austrians  had  been  careful  not 
to  repeat  their  errors  of  the  previous  campaign. 
They  made  up  their  minds  that  the  principal  struggle 
would  be  in  Germany,  and  they  collected  an  army  of 
two  hundred  thousand  men  in  the  valley  of  the 
Danube. 

This  action  of  the  Austrians  came  upon  l^apoleon 
as  a  surprise,  and  he  had  only  the  first  three  months 
of  1809  to  prepare  for  the  blow.  He  had  removed 
the  seasoned  soldiers  stationed  in  the  other  parts  of 
Europe  in  order  to  supply  the  requirements  of  Spain. 
Napoleon  did  his  utmost  to  raise  troops.  He  made 
new  demands  upon  the  four  previous  conscriptions 
and  called  up  in  advance  the  conscripts  of  1809,  but 
there  w^as  a  wide  difference  between  these  raw  levies 
and  the  veterans  of  the  Grand  Armee.  He  was  able, 
l^owever,  to  get  together  two  hundred  thousand  men, 
to  which  he  added  one  hundred  thousand  more,  com- 
posed   of    Saxons,    Bavarians,    Wiirtembergers    and 


THE  FIVE  DAYS'  CAMPAIGN  IN  BAVARIA.       77 

Hessians.  But  it  was  difficult  to  estimate  the  exact 
value  of  these  auxiliary  troops,  and  the  extent  to 
which  they  were  to  be  trusted. 

jN^apoleon,  having  decided  to  march  upon  Vienna, 
gave  orders  for  his  army  to  assemble  according  to  the 
following  scheme.  The  corps  of  Davout  was  to 
march  on  Ratisbon,  that  of  Lannes  on  Augsburg, 
and  that  of  Massena  on  Ulm.  In  their  rear  was 
formed  the  reserve  of  the  cavalry  and  the  guard. 
The  auxiliary  forces  were  posted  thus :  The 
Saxons  under  Bernadotte  at  Wiirzburg,  the 
Wiirtembergers  between  Wiirzburg  and  Ulm,  and 
the  Bavarians  between  Munich  and  Landshut.  The 
main  centre  of  concentration  was  to  be  Ratisbon, 
and  the  Emperor  sent  Berthier  to  that  place  to  make 
preparations.  Judging  from  previous  experience, 
he  thought  that  Austria  would  not  commence  hostili- 
ties till  the  end  of  April. 

Archduke  Charles  crossed  the  Isar  at  Landshut  on 
April  16,  and,  advancing  in  a  westerly  direction, 
drove  the  Bavarians  back  upon  J^eustadt.  He  was 
imperfectly  informed  as  to  the  position  of  the 
French  and  believed  them  to  be  divided  into  two 
masses,  one  at  Augsburg,  the  other  at  Ratisbon.  His 
plan  was  to  penetrate  between  them,  to  cut  them  in 
two,  and  then  to  double  round  u^Don  Ratisbon  and 
crush  the  French  between  his  own  army  and  the  army 
of  Bohemia.  On  April  17  he  reached  the  river 
Abens,  in  pursuance  of  his  scheme,  and  only  sent  a 
weak  body  towards  Ratisbon  to  reconnoitre.  On 
April  18,  leaving  the  troops  of  General  Hiller  and 
the  Archduke  Ludwig  at  Abensberg,  he  prepared  to 
march  by  his  right  towards  Ratisbon  with  seventy 
thousand  men. 

If  the  Archduke  had  been  a  day  or  two  earlier  in 


78  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

liis  movements  he  would  have  accomplished  his  de- 
sign, and  perhaps  annihilated  the  corps  of  Davout. 
^Napoleon  was  far  from  the  scene  of  conflict,  and 
Berthier,  bewildered  without  the  presence  of  his 
master,  did  not  know  w^hat  to  do.  He  was  so  ac- 
customed to  act  under  orders  that  he  was  paralysed 
by  responsibility.  By  the  rapidity  of  the  Austrian 
advance  the  original  plan  of  concentration  at  Ratis- 
bon  had  become  impossible,  and  it  was  difficult,  un- 
der these  new  circumstances,  for  the  Emperor  to  give 
precise  orders,  or  for  Berthier  to  carry  them  into 
effect. 

But  ]S[apoleon,  if  he  was  late  in  entering  upon  the 
campaign,  now  lost  no  time.  He  set  out  from  Paris 
on  April  14,  reached  Strasburg  on  the  following  day, 
and  travelling  post-haste,  arrived  at  Donauworth 
at  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening  of  April  17,  without 
liis  guard  or  his  field  equipage,  without  horses  or 
staff.  He  addressed  his  troops  in  trumpet  tones :  "  I 
have  come  here  with  the  speed  of  lightning.  You 
were  with  me  when  the  sovereign  of  Austria  came  to 
my  bivouac  in  Moravia;  you  heard  how  he  begged 
for  my  clemency  and  swore  eternal  friendship.  We 
have  been  conquerors  in  three  wars ;  Austria  owes 
everything  to  our  magnanimity ;  three  times  has  she 
broken  her  oath.  Our  previous  successes  are  a  sure 
guarantee  of  the  victory  that  awaits  us.  Forward, 
then,  so  that  the  enemy  when  he  sees  us  may  recog- 
nise his  conquerors." 

Concentration  at  Ratisbon  having  become  impos- 
sible, Napoleon  determined  to  concentrate  at  JSTeu- 
stadt,  and  ordered  Davout  and  Massena  to  advance 
thither,  Massena  leaving  only  two  German  regiments 
at  Augsburg,  and  Davout  only  one  regiment  at  Rat- 
isbon.    Davout  was  to  march  towards  the  mouth  of 


THE  FIVE  DAYS'  CAMPAIGN  IN  BAVARIA.       79 

the  Abens,  between  the  Danube  and  the  army  of  the 
Archduke,  with  the  utmost  secrecy  and  rapidity ; 
ISTapoleon  would  advance  as  far  as  Ingolstadt  to  meet 
him.  Davout  performed  this  difficult  task  with  fore- 
sight, cleverness,  tenacity  and  courage,  passing  by 
country  roads,  through  a  woody  and  hilly  country, 
and  arrived  at  Abensberg  on  April  19,  unperceived 
by  the  Austrians. 

Napoleon  now  felt  himself  in  a  position  to  strike 
a  decisive  blow.  On  April  20  he  fought  the  battle 
of  Abensberg,  the  object  of  which  was  to  cut  the  Aus- 
trian army  into  two,  in  which  operation  he  was  com- 
pletely successful.  When  the  battle  was  over  he  did 
not  take  off  his  clothes  and  only  slept  for  a  few  hours 
in  an  armchair.  He  mounted  his  horse  at  daybreak 
to  pursue  the  enemy  to  Landshut.  Here  on  April  21 
a  furious  engagement  took  place,  as  the  Austrians 
had  made  this  town  a  depot  for  their  munitions  of 
war,  their  provisions,  their  artillery  and  their  pon- 
toon train.  The  struggle  was  mainly  directed  to- 
Avards  the  possession  of  the  bridge.  Massena  arrived 
with  three  divisions  at  a  critical  moment  of  the 
fight.  The  Austrians  were  compelled  to  retreat  and 
abandoned  to  the  French  the  whole  of  their  war  ma- 
terial and  seven  thousand  wounded,  sick,  and  pris- 
oners. 

The  next  day,  April  22,  witnessed  the  battle  of 
Eckmiihl.  The  Archduke  had  kept  his  army  during 
these  two  days  between  Tengen  and  Eckmiihl,  but 
he  had  also  made  himself  master  of  Ratisbon  in  order 
to  secure  his  retreat  across  the  Danube.  After  this 
he  determined  to  await  a  decisive  battle  on  the  river 
Gross-Laber.  Napoleon,  wdien  he  heard  of  the  cap- 
ture of  Ratisbon,  knew  that  the  troops  whom  he  had 
defeated  at  Landshut  could  not  be  the  main  body 


80  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  the  Austrian  avmj,  so  he  determined  to  seek  his 
adversary  fartlier  towards  the  north.  He  ordered 
Davout  to  hold  his  ground  and  promised  that  he 
woukl  soon  come  up  to  his  assistance.  Leaving  Lands- 
hut  in  the  early  morning  with  Massena  he  reached 
Eckmiihl  at  two  in  the  afternoon.  The  Archduke 
had  committed  the  error  of  marching  with  the  bulk 
of  his  army  towards  the  Abach,  to  cut  off  the  French 
communications ;  so  that  Eckmiihl  was  only  defended 
by  a  small  detachment.  Even  before  IsTapoleon 
arrived  Davout  attacked  the  Austrians'  right  with 
impetuosity.  There  was  no  question  of  Charles  be- 
ing able  to  turn  the  flank  of  the  French ;  he  had 
enough  to  do  to  protect  himself.  Davout  wrested 
from  the  enemy  the  two  villages  of  Oberleichting 
and  Unterleichting,  driving  them  with  the  bayonet 
from  house  to  house,  while  I^apoleon,  commanding 
in  the  centre,  swept  the  high-road  and  the  banks  of 
the  Labor.  The  ground  beyond  Echmiihl  rises  to- 
wards the  north,  and  here  the  Austrians  were  able 
for  some  time  to  make  a  stand.  But  on  ^Napoleon 
threatening  their  left,  as  their  right  was  already 
threatened  by  Davout,  they  were  afraid  of  being 
surrounded,  and  retreated  towards  the  plain  of  Rat- 
isbon  with  the  loss  of  ten  thousand  men.  Darkness 
put  an  end  to  the  battle  at  about  seven  o'clock,  and 
the  pursuit  was  not  continued  after  nightfall.  In 
this  murderous  conflict  the  French  lost  two  thousand 
five  hundred  men  and  the  Austrians  about  three 
times  that  number.  Davout  received  the  title  of 
"  Prince  of  Eckmiihl." 

The  Archdvike  retreated  to  Ratisbon,  and  during 
the  night  his  best  troops  crossed  the  stream  to  the 
left  bank.  The  French  were  again  in  movement  at 
daybreak  on  April  23.     At  Ratisbon  they  engaged 


THE  FIVE  DAYS'  CAMPAIGN  IN  BAVARIA.       81 

with  the  Austrian  cavalry,  who  for  some  time  pre- 
vented them  from  seeing  the  pontoons  which  had 
been  thrown  across  the  river.  As  soon  as  Lannes 
observed  the  pontoons  he  opened  fire  upon  them  and 
set  them  in  flames.  The  town  was  surrounded  by  a 
simple  wall  defended  by  towers  and  a  ditch.  Napo- 
leon, who-  desired  to  sleep  that  night  in  the  town, 
ordered  a  breach  to  be  made.  As  the  Emperor  rode 
up  to  watch  the  operations  through  his  field-glass,  he 
was  wounded  in  the  foot,  but  very  slightly,  and  was 
soon  able  to  mount  his  horse  again.  After  some  de- 
lay the  wall  was  climbed  by  the  aid  of  scaling-lad- 
ders; a  gate  was  opened  and  the  French  became 
masters  of  the  town. 

Thus  ended  this  marvellous  campaign  of  five  days, 
each  day  of  which  was  marked  by  a  battle.  The 
glorious  successes  which  Xapoleon  had  achieved 
might  console  him  for  his  delay  in  beginning  the 
war,  for  the  insurrection  of  the  Tyrol,  for  the  in- 
difference of  the  Russians,  and  for  the  reverses  of 
Prince  Eugene  in  Italy.  Even  his  detractors  admit 
that  his  military  genius  never  showed  itself  in  great- 
er perfection,  and  the  mixture  of  calculation  and 
daring  with  which  these  results  were  brouglit  about 
have  never  been  surpassed  in  the  annals  of  war.  The 
Emperor  could  with  truth  make  the  proud  boast  to 
his  soldiers  that  they  had  exemplified  the  difference 
between  the  trained  veterans  of  Ca!sar  and  the  armed 
hordes  of  Xerxes,  that  in  less  than  a  week  they  had 
been  victorious  in  three  pitched  battles  and  in  three 
engagements,  and  that  they  had  captured  one  hun- 
dred gains,  forty  standards,  and  fifty  thousand  joris- 
oners. 
6 


82  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEK  XIII. 


ASPEKN  AND  ESSLINGEN. 


l^APOLEON  now  marched  upon  Vienna  by  the  right 
bank  of  the  Danube,  driving  before  him  both  the 
troops  of  Archduke  Ludwig  and  those  of  Hiller. 
Archduke  Charles,  even  after  the  battle  of  Eckmiihl, 
might  have  disputed  the  advance  of  the  enemy 
upon  the  capital,  by  crossing  himself  to  the  right 
bank  of  the  river  either  at  Linz  or  at  Krems.  But 
this  would  have  been  a  dangerous  undertaking  and 
the  Archduke  did  not  feel  himself  strong  enough  to 
adopt  it.  He  therefore  took  up  a  position  at  Cham, 
on  the  frontiers  of  Bohemia,  whilst  Massena  pushed 
on  rapidly  towards  Linz.  A  battle  took  place  at  the 
village  of  Ebelsberg,  which  commands  the  passage  of 
the  Traun,  dominated  by  a  castle  full  of  troops  and 
well  provided  with  cannon.  The  place  was  hard  to 
capture,  and  it  would  liave  been  better  to  wait  for 
reinforcements,  but  Massena  was  always  inclined  to 
take  the  bull  by  the  horns  and  gave  orders  for  the 
assault.  The  village  which  lies  before  the  bridge 
was  speedily  mastered,  the  Austrians  being  killed  or 
dispersed  in  flight.  General  Coehorn  pressed  over 
the  bridge  with  his  light  troops,  mounted  the  steep 
heights  on  the  other  side  and  penetrated  to  the  market- 
place, over  which  the  castle  towered.  To  save 
Coehorn  Massena  bombarded  the  castle,  and  sent  two 
brigades  across  the  bridge,  which  was  encumbered 
with   dead   and  wounded.     Thrice   was   the   bridge 


ASPERN  AND  ESSLINGEN.  83 

taken  and  retaken,  and  only  in  the  third  attack  did 
the  French  sncceed. 

The  town  soon  burst  into  flames.  The  castle  was 
defended  with  heroic  valour,  the  doors  were  hewn 
down  and  the  fortress  was  disputed  room  by  room, 
and  won  by  cold  steel.  The  Austrians  now  retired, 
having  lost  one  hundred  and  sixteen  officers  and  four 
thousand  five  hundred  men,  but  having  taken  three 
eagles  and  fourteen  hundred  prisoners.  Attracted  by 
the  cannonade,  Napoleon  now  rode  up  to  the  scene  of 
battle.  He  was  enraged  at  what  he  saw,  because  he 
knew  the  sacrifice  to  be  useless.  The  Traun  had 
already  been  crossed  in  two  or  three  places,  and  the 
Austrians,  when  they  recognised  the  superiority  of 
the  enemy,  would  not  have  attempted  resistance. 
It  is  probable  that  if  the  offender  had  been  any  other 
than  Massena  he  would  have  been  driven  from  the 
army;  as  it  was,  Napoleon  contented  himself  with  a 
severe  rebuke. 

On  May  7  Napoleon  reached  the  great  monastery 
of  Molk,  and  on  May  9  the  headquarters  of  the 
French  were  at  St.  Polten.  On  May  10,  at  nine 
o'clock  in  the  morning.  Napoleon  rode  into  the  Park 
of  Schonbrunn,  just  a  month  after  the  beginning  of 
the  war.  Vienna,  commanded  by  the  Archduke  Maxi- 
milian, attempted  to  resist.  But  the  French  threw 
some  three  thousand  bombs  into  the  town,  and  caused 
some  damage  and  more  terror.  In  the  middle  of  the 
night  the  Archduke  withdrew  over  the  Danube  bridge, 
which  he  destroyed,  giving  orders  to  General  Bubna 
to  hold  out  for  two  days  longer.  This,  however,  was 
impossible,  and  on  May  13  the  city  was  occupied  by 
the  French. 

The  situation  of  the  invaders  was  now  less  favour- 
able  than   in   1805,   because   their   conmiunications 


84  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

with  the  left  bank  of  the  Danube  had  been  cut  off  by 
the  destruction  of  the  Tabor  bridge,  which  on  the 
previous  occasion  they  had  taken  by  a  stratagem. 
Napoleon  therefore  took  precautions  against  attack, 
especially  on  the  part  of  the  Archduke  John,  and  of 
the  Austrian  army  in  Italy.  He  formed  a  vast  net- 
work of  cavalry  along  all  the  roads  by  which  the 
enemy  could  advance.  He  ordered  Prince  Eugene 
to  follow  the  Archduke  John,  and  Marmont  to  leave 
the  Illyrian  provinces.  Archduke  John  had  crossed 
the  Isonzo  on  May  11,  closely  followed  by  Eugene 
and  Macdonald.  The  Austrians  now  divided  them- 
selves into  two  armies,  one  advancing  to  Laibach  in 
Carinthia,  and  the  other  to  Graz  in  Styria.  Eugene 
was  compelled  to  make  a  similar  partition  of  his 
forces,  but  his  strategy  was  successful,  for  the  Arch- 
duke was  compelled  to  make  a  long  detour,  and  could 
not  appear  on  the  battle-fields  of  the  Marchfeld  in 
time  to  be  of  any  use. 

Napoleon  was  relieved  from  this  danger,  but  he 
had  still  to  deal  with  the  Archduke  Charles,  who  had 
drawn  up  his  army  in  front  of  Vienna  on  the  plain 
of  the  Marchfeld.  In  order  to  attack  him  it  was 
necessary  to  cross  the  Danube,  a  river  broad,  deep, 
and  rapid.  The  enterprise  was  not  impossible,  but 
it  was  very  difficult.  It  required  much  time  and 
mature  preparation.  But  the  genius  of  Napoleon 
took  no  account  either  of  difficulties  or  of  time. 
From  his  first  arrival  at  Vienna  he  had  collected 
with  the  utmost  vigour  everything  that  could  serve 
for  his  passage  of  the  stream.  He,  however,  soon 
discovered  that  they  were  insufficient  for  an  army 
of  eighty  thousand  men  and  for  the  crossing  of  a 
river  like  the  Danube,  subject  to  continual  floods 
from  the  melting  of  the  mountain  snows.    He  deter- 


ASPERN  AND  ESSLINGEN.  85 

mined  to  effect  his  passage  at  the  point  where  the 
stream  is  divided  into  two  parts  by  the  island  of 
Lobau,  which  is  about  eight  miles  long  and  five  broad. 
It  was  wooded  in  the  centre,  and  could  conceal  and 
protect  an  army.  On  one  side  it  is  only  about  sixty 
yards  from  the  left  bank,  but  in  order  to  reach  it  from 
the  village  of  Ebersdorf  two  branches  of  the  Danube 
had  to  be  crossed,  the  first  of  which  was 
two  hundred  and  forty  and  the  other  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty  yards  wide,  divided  by  a  sand- 
bank in  the  centre.  It  was  necessary,  therefore, 
to  build  three  bridges,  the  last  in  sight  of  the  enemy. 
For  this  purpose  seventy  or  eighty  large  barges 
would  be  required,  and  the  Austrians  had  been  care- 
ful to  destroy  or,  to  remove  everything  of  the  kind. 
All  preparations,  therefore,  had  to  be  made  afresh — 
pontoons,  cables,  and  anchors.  As  these  last  would 
take  much  time  to  forge,  jSTapoleon  used  heavy  cannon 
instead,  five  hundred  of  which  he  had  found  in 
Vienna,  and  chests  full  of  cannon-balls.  Massena 
conducted  the  work  with  such  speed,  under  the  super- 
vision of  Napoleon,  that  in  six  days  the  bridges  were 
ready  without  the  Austrians  knowing  anything  that 
was  going  on. 

On  May  18  the  Emperor  removed  his  headquarters 
from  Schonbrunn  to  Ebersdorf,  and  at  ten  o'clock 
on  the  evening  of  the  following  day  the  first  French 
boat  left  the  shore.  The  Austrians,  who  held  the 
island,  were  surprised  and  driven  back,  and  the  cen- 
tre of  Lobau  was  occupied,  the  troops  wading  through 
water.  The  construction  of  the  third  bridge  offered 
the  greatest  difficulties,  but  it  was  completed  in  three 
hours.  Lasalle  was  the  first  to  occupy  the  left  bank 
with  four  cavalry  regiments,  followed  by  skirmishers. 
The  villages  of  Aspern  and  Esslingen  were  seized 


86  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

without  mucli  difficiiltv.  Aspern  was  occupied  by 
Molitor,  and  Esslingen  by  Boudet.  Both  villages 
possessed  wide  streets  and  stone  houses,  Aspern  a 
church  with  a  walled  churchyard,  and  Esslingen  a 
huge  corn  magazine  built  of  stone.  These  features 
were  of  importance  in  the  battles  which  ensued. 

Before  the  two  villages  was  a  small  wood  in  which 
the  cavalry  of  Lasalle  bivouacked.  Here  also 
Xapoleon  slept,  surrounded  by  a  detachment  of  his 
guard,  without  taking  off  his  clothes.  The  advance 
of  the  army  continued  through  the  whole  night, 
infantry,  artillery  and  cavalry,  the  last  consisting 
of  fourteen  regiments  of  cuirassiers,  under  the  com- 
mand of  Espagne.  The  army  debouched  into  a  wide 
plain,  consisting  of  meadows  and  corn-fields. 

About  midday  Berthier,  looking  out  from  the 
church-tower  of  Esslingen,  saw  a  cloud  of  cavalry, 
and  the  army  of  the  Archduke  Charles  coming  down 
into  the  plain  in  battle  array.  Xapoleon  said  to 
the  priest  of  Aspern,  "  In  an  hour  Austria  will  be  at 
my  feet."  Many  hours,  however,  had  to  pass  before 
that  end  could  be  accomplished.  Lannes  was  now 
ordered  to  advance  from  Esslingen  on  the  right  wing, 
and  Massena  from  Aspern  on  the  left  wing ;  the  space 
between  being  occupied  by  cavalry  and  artillery. 
The  numbers  on  each  side  are  not  certain.  The  best 
authorities  say  that  one  hundred  and  five  thousand 
Austrians  were  opposed  to  one  hundred  and  ten  thou- 
sand French,  although  the  ofiicial  records  of  the  time 
make  the  numbers  seventy-five  thousand  and  eighty 
thousand  respectively. 

The  battle  bes'an  at  two  in  the  afternoon  on  Mav 
21,  by  the  attack  of  ITiller  upon  Aspern,  Every 
house  was  hotly  disputed,  and  the  village  was  set  in 
flames;  it  was  taken  and  retaken  six  times,  Massena 


ASPERN  AND  ESSLINGEK  87 

directing  the  fight  from  the  churchyard  with  great 
coolness,  but  at  the  seventh  charge  he  was  forced  to 
retire,  and  at  eleven  at  night  the  Austrians  were  in 
possession  of  Aspern.  I^ot  less  violent  were  the  at- 
tacks on  Esslingen  and  on  the  centre,  but  neither  of 
them  proved  successful,  and  at  night  Esslingen  still 
remained  in  the  possession  of  the  French.  jSTapoleon 
spent  the  night  at  the  side  of  the  bridge,  watching 
over  the  passage  of  his  troops.  Twice  or  more  news 
was  brought  to  him  that  the  great  bridge  had  been 
broken  do\\Ti,  but  each  time  it  was  restored. 

The  battle  was  renewed  on  the  following  day. 
ISapoleon,  having  received  reinforcements  of  twenty- 
two  thousand  men  during  the  night,  felt  certain  of 
victory.  His  plan  was  that  Massena  should  retake 
Aspern,  Lannes  should  defend  Esslingen  against  all 
attacks,  and  then  force  himself  like  a  wedge  through 
the  Austrian  centre,  and  cut  the  army  of  the  enemy 
in  two.  Davout,  who  had  been  left  on  the  right 
bank  of  the  river,  was  now  to  support  Lannes. 

The  battle  raged  for  many  hours  round  the  two 
villages.  Massena  captured  Aspern  nine  times  and 
succeeded  in  becoming  master  of  the  churchyard, 
but  each  time  he  was  driven  back.  Napoleon  took 
advantage  of  the  mist  to  attack  with  his  cavalry  the 
Hungarian  regiments  of  General  Hiller,  but  he  also 
was  repulsed.  In  the  meantime  Lannes  formed  the 
wedge  consisting  of  twenty  thousand  infantry  and 
six  thousand  cavalry  which  was  to  penetrate  the 
centre  of  the  Austrians.  The  charge  was  at  first 
successful,  and  some  fugitives  declared  that  the  bat- 
tle was  lost;  but  by  the  bravery  and  steadfastness 
of  the  Archduke  and  Prince  John  of  Lichtenstein 
order  was  restored.  Their  whole  line  moved  for- 
ward, and  Esslingen  was  nearly  recaptured.     Lannes 


88  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

sat  down  disheartened  on  the  edge  of  the  canal  which 
united  Aspern  with  Esslingen  and  covered  his  face 
wnth  his  hands.  A  spent  ball  struck  him  on  both 
knees.  "  I  am  wounded/'  he  cried  to  his  adjutant; 
"  give  me  your  hand  and  help  me  to  rise."  But 
he  was  unable  to  stand.  He  was  carried  from  the 
field  of  battle,  but  died  on  May  30,  the  cherished 
friend  of  his  master  and  the  hero  of  the  Erench 
army. 

The  onslaught  of  the  Austrians  had  failed,  but  the 
French  had  suffered  a  heavy  defeat.  They  had 
probably  lost  seven  thousand  dead  and  thirty-four 
thousand  wounded,  while  the  loss  of  the  Austrians 
w^as  four  thousand  two  hundred  and  eighty  dead  and 
sixteen  thousand  wounded.  This  was  the  second 
great  battle  in  wdiich  Napoleon  had  been  worsted. 
The  belief  in  his  invincibility  was  on  the  wane,  but 
he  was  now  to  show  that  his  genius  shone  forth  as 
highly  in  adversity  as  in  success.  Esslingen  and 
what  remained  of  Aspern  were  still  in  the  possession 
of  the  Erench  and  covered  their  retreat  across  the 
Danube. 


THE  ISLAND  OF  LOBAU.  89 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

THE  ISLAND  OF  LOBATJ. 

ITapoleon  returned  to  the  island  of  Lobau  and 
summoned  his  marshals  Massena,  Berthier,  and 
Lannes  to  a  conference.  Davout  arrived  somewhat 
later.  The  Emperor  now  formed  the  plan  of  convert- 
ing the  island  of  Lobau  into  a  place  of  arms,  in 
order  that  he  might  cross  into  the  Marchfeld  a  month 
later  when  the  waters  were  lower,  and  the  bridge  was 
in  greater  security.  The  generals  w^ere  in  favour  of  a 
speedy  retreat  to  Vienna,  leaving  behind  them  their 
wounded,  their  artillery,  and  their  horses ;  but  Na- 
poleon pointed  out  that  this  meant  nothing  less  than 
a  retreat  to  Strasburg,  and  possibly  the  destruction 
of  the  Empire  of  France.  It  was  better  that  Massena 
should  continue  to  hold  Aspern  till  midnight,  and 
then  retire  into  the  island  and  hold  it  against  all 
comers.  Davout  promised,  on  his  part,  to  defend 
Vienna  against  the  Archduke. 

l^apoleon,  on  his  side,  crossed  the  island  of  Lobau 
with  Berthier,  Davout  and  Savary,  and  reached  the 
rio-ht  bank  in  a  small  boat  shortlv  before  midnight. 
From  Ebersdorf  he  ordered  supplies  of  all  kinds  to 
be  carried  into  the  island,  biscuits,  wine,  brandy 
and  ammunition.  He  sat  for  some  time  in  thought 
with  tears  in  his  eyes ;  he  then  fell  into  a  deep  sleep 
wdiich  lasted  for  thirty  hours,  his  staff  doubting 
whether  he  would  ever  wake.     The  forty  days  which 


90  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

intervened  between  the  battles  of  Aspern  and 
Wagram  were  spent  by  Napoleon  in  converting 
Loban  into  a  fortress,  an  impregnable  citadel.  He 
was  present  every  day  in  person  directing  all  kinds 
of  work.  The  island  was  occupied  by  forty-live  thou- 
sand picked  troops,  commanded  by  Massena.  In  the 
space  of  three  weeks  sixty  piles  had  been  driven  into 
the  river-bed,  reaching  far  above  the  highest  known 
high-water  mark.  On  these  was  laid  a  perfectly 
firm  road,  capable  of  being  used  by  any  number  of 
artillery  and  cavalrv.  Twentv  vards  lower  down  the 
stream  lay  the  old  pontoon  bridge,  for  the  use  of  the 
infantry,  strengthened,  enlarged  and  held  firm  by 
strong  cables  and  anchors.  The  upper  bridge,  while 
it  protected  the  l)ridge  of  boats,  was  itself  protected 
by  a  stockade,  built  in  an  oblique  direction,  across  the 
stream.  A  guard  of  sailors  was  formed  to  watch  the 
upper  waters  and  to  intercept  anything  which  was 
likely  to  interfere  with  the  security  of  the  bridges. 

In  this  manner  Lobau  was  transformed  into  a  forti- 
fied camp,  in  every  respect  fit  for  the  sojourn  of  a 
large  army,  spacious,  secure,  and  healthy.  Lofty 
causeways  afforded  a  dry  passage  free  from  all  danger 
of  floods.  Bridges  were  built  across  all  the  w^ater- 
courses.  A  powder-magazine  was  erected,  bakehouses 
and  kitchens  were  established,  and  places  were 
marked  out  for  washing.  Large  quantities  of  meal 
were  stored  in  the  island ;  thousands  of  horned  cattle 
from  Hungary  were  collected  there.  There  was 
abundance  of  rich  Austrian  wine  in  casks  and  bottles, 
the  whole  place  was  lighted  up  like  a  towTi,  and  the 
place  of  each  regiment  w^as  legibly  marked.  Thus 
Lobau  formed  not  only  a  safe  and  secure  passage 
into  the  ]\rarchfeld,  but  a  means  of  retreat  to  Vienna 
in  case  of  disaster. 


THE  ISLAND  OF  LOBAU.  91 

There  was  little  doubt  that  ISTapoleon  would  again 
seek  the  Archduke  Charles  in  his  old  position,  but 
there  was  grave  doubt  as  to  where  he  would  cross. 
The  Austrians  were  of  opinion  that  out  of  sheer  ob- 
stinacy he  would  again  attack  Aspern  and  Esslingen, 
which  were  consequently  most  carefully  fortified  by 
the  Archduke.     Napoleon,  however,  had  other  plans 
in  view.     lie  determined  to  cross  from  the  east  side 
of  the  island,  to  throw  a  mass  of  French  troops  into 
Marchfeld  over  four  bridges  in  two  hours,  to  march 
round  the  Austrians  and  to  make  their  present  posi- 
tion useless,  to  roll  them  up  from  the  left  flank  and  to 
compel  the  Archduke  to  retreat.     He  therefore  had 
four  bridges  secretly  prepared  in  a  retired  bay  sur- 
rounded by  woods.      One  of  them  was  constructed 
in  a  single  piece,  so  as  to  swing  across  the  stream. 
The  channel  was  comparatively  narrow  in  that  part, 
and  it  was  quite  the  best  place  for  the  crossing,  al- 
though it  had  been  overlooked  by  the  Austrians.     As 
the  decisive  day  approached  Napoleon's  visits  became 
more  frequent  and  longer,  and  the  works  were  con- 
tinued day  and  night.     He  practised  sailing  up  the 
Danube  in  all  weathers.     In  the  principal  branch  of 
the  Danube  he  had  twenty-two  rafts,  twenty-one  pon- 
toons and  many  boats  of  different  sizes.     Captain 
Baste  of  the  Imperial  navy  anchored  with  a  flotilla 
above  the  island.     Enzersdorf  was  well  defended  by 
a  battery.    Munition  and  supplies  of  every  kind  were 
most  abundant.      On  July  1  Napoleon  left  Schon- 
brunn   and   established   his   headquarters   in   Lobau. 
Archduke  Charles  could  observe  from  his  position 
regiment   after  regiment  marching  into  the  island, 
but  he  could  not  see  what  was  inside,  as  it  was  pro- 
tected by  lofty  trees.     Spies  were  altogether  absent, 
because  any  one  found  in  the  island  who  was  not  a 


92  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

French  soldier  was  immediately  hanged.     War  cor- 
respondents were  not  thought  of  in  those  days ! 

On  June  30  Massena  set  his  troops  in  motion 
and  built  a  pontoon  bridge  in  the  very  spot  where 
Napoleon  had  crossed  on  the  previous  occasion. 
Three  days  afterwards  he  occupied  another  large  is- 
land and  protected  it  by  an  earthwork.  This  also 
pointed  to  a  passage  opposite  Esslingen.  These  two 
bridges  enabled  him  to  advance  ae-ainst  the  rig-ht  and 
left  of  the  Austrians.  Sailors  summoned  from  Hol- 
land and  from  Brest  sailed  up  and  down  the  Danube, 
apparently  with  the  object  of  finding  a  landing- 
place. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WAGRAM.  93 


CHAPTER  XV. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  WAGRAM. 

On  the  afternoon  of  July  4,  1809,  l^apoleon  ol>- 
served  that  the  point  at  which  he  intended  to  cross 
was  only  guarded  by  small  detachments  of  the  enemy. 
The  day  was  extremely  hot  and  a  storm  seemed  to  be 
imminent.  At  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening  three  guns 
were  fired  as  a  signal.  All  the  bands  and  trumpets 
played  the  air  of  Queen  Hortense,  ''  Partant  pour  la 
Syrie,"  and  a  cry  of  "  Vive  I'Empereur !  "  broke 
from  a  thousand  voices.  In  the  midst  of  the  pouring 
rain  and  blinding  hail  General  Couroux  occupied  the 
Shoemakers'  Island  with  fifteen  hundred  sharp- 
shooters. He  drove  before  him  the  weak  Austrian  out- 
posts, while  Captain  Baste  commanded  the  left  bank 
from  his  flotilla.  In  two  hours  the  first  bridge  was 
ready,  and  Oudinot  crossed  at  midnight.  The  other 
three  bridges  were  soon  fit  for  use.  The  darkness  was 
lit  up  by  the  lightnings  of  the  sky,  the  flight  of  the 
red-hot  cannon-balls,  and  the  burning  houses  of  En- 
zersdorf.  Napoleon  superintended  the  construction 
of  each  bridge  himself,  giving  counsel  and  urging  the 
men  to  haste.  The  storm  was  in  hi&  favour  as  it  had 
been  in  his  first  enterprise,  the  capture  of  Toulon. 
In  twelve  hours  one  hundred  and  sixty  thousand  men 
made  their  way  into  the  Marchfeld  full  of  confidence 
in  their  leader.  The  plan  had  been  carefully 
thought  out,  and  every  general  knew  what  he  had  to 
do.     The  French  were  ready  for  the  attack  before 


94  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  Austrians  had  taken  up  their  position.  About 
eight  o'clock  in  the  morning  Napoleon  threw  two 
other  bridces  across  the  Danube  for  the  third  and 
fourth  army  corps,  which  consisted  of  one  hundred 
and  fifty  thousand  men,  five  hundred  and  fifty 
guns,  and  forty  thousand  horses.  He  crossed  him- 
self a  little  before  ten,  with  the  joy  of  victory  in  his 
face. 

Wednesday,  July  5,  1809,  broke  a  lovely  summer's 
morning,  fresh  and  invigorating  after  the  storm  of 
the  previous  night.  Napoleon's  first  action  was  to 
occupy  Enzersdorf.  The  French  advance  was  in  the 
shape  of  a  fan.  In  the  first  line  Massona  occupied 
the  extreme  left  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Esslingen, 
then  came  Bernadotte  with  his  Saxons,  then  Oudinot, 
and  then  Davout  In  the  second  line  the  army  of 
Prince  Eugene,  which  had  come  up  from  Italy, 
formed  the  left,  and  the  corps  of  Marmont  the  right. 
The  Guard  formed  the  reserve.  The  artillery  and 
the  cavalry  were  massed  on  the  flanks.  Kegnier 
was  left  behind  with  seven  battalions  to  defend 
Lobau. 

The  Archduke  Charles  had  dispersed  his  army 
in  a  wide  sweeping  curve.  His  left,  covered  by  the 
Russbach,  occupied  the  plateau  of  Neusiedel  and 
Wagram,  his  right  rested  on  the  Danube.  Napo- 
leon met  with  few  obstacles  as  he  advanced ;  Davout 
was  able  to  seize  the  villages  opposed  to  him ;  Ber- 
nadotte reached  Aderklaa ;  the  left  under  Massena 
took  possession  of  Esslingen  and  Aspern.  Napoleon 
made  an  attempt  to  capture  Wagram,  but  he  met  with 
an  obstinate  resistance,  and  it  became  evident  that 
the  Archduke  was  prepared  for  a  mortal  struggle, 
Avhich  the  following  day  would  decide. 

Napoleon's  order  of  battle  for  June  6  formed  an 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WAGRAM.  95 

obtuse-angled  triangle.  Xapoleon  slept  in  his  own 
field-tent  surrounded  by  his  guard.  His  marshals 
received  no  written  orders;  they  only  knew  that  his 
scheme  was  to  pierce  the  centre  with  a  wedge  and  to 
surround  the  left  flank  of  the  enemy,  to  break  through 
the  Austrian  line  and  then  to  roll  it  up.  The  Arch- 
duke in  vain  tried  to  sleep.  Anxiety  and  labour  ban- 
ished sleep  from  his  eyes,  and  he  suffered  on  the  day 
of  battle  from  this  want  of  repose.  At  break  of  day  a 
thick  mist  covered  the  field.  The  Austrians  began 
the  battle  with  an  attack  upon  Davout  who  held  his 
ground  with  his  accustomed  tenacity.  The  fire  then 
extended  along  the  whole  line  from  Glinzendorf  to 
the  Danube.  On  the  previous  day  Bernadotte  had 
occupied  Aderklaa,  which  formed  the  apex  of  the 
French  triangle,  but  he  was  violently  attacked  by  the 
Austrians  and  driven  out.  Massena,  who,  unable 
to  sit  on  horseback,  was  driven  in  a  carriage,  attempt- 
ed to  stop  the  flight  by  firing  on  the  fugitives,  and 
Xapoleon  riding  up,  cried,  "  Why  can  I  not  be  mas- 
ter of  Aderklaa  only  for  a  few  hours  ?  " 

Encouraged  by  this  success,  the  Archduke  at- 
tempted to  extend  his  attack  towards  Aspern  and  Ess- 
lingen  on  his  right.  He  desired  to  weaken  the  centre 
of  the  French  and  to  press  on  towards  the  river.  How- 
ever, the  centre  was  protected  by  the  artillery  of  the 
reserve  and  by  Macdonald's  infantry.  Davout  now 
received  orders  to  attack  the  heights  of  Neusiedel. 
This  was  a  serious  task,  as  it  meant  an  advance  over 
steep  ground  under  a  plunging  fire.  After  two  re- 
pulses Davout  was  successful,  and  the  heights  were 
won.  This  was  the  decisive  moment  of  the  battle, 
and  even  if  Archduke  John  had  now  appeared  upon 
the  scene  he  would  have  been  too  late.  The  whole 
of  the  Austrian  position,  behind  the  Eussbach,  was 


9G  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

enfiladed,  and  at  one  o'clock  the  Archduke  ordered 
the  retreat  of  the  fourth  corps. 

During  all  these  hours  Xapoleon  was  watching  the 
battle  with  eagerness.  He  had  covered  his  simple 
uniform  with  a  gray  overcoat,  rode  a  small  Arabian 
horse,  white  in  colour,  and  carried  a  little  riding- 
whip  in  his  hand.  He  was  surrounded  by  a  numerous 
staff,  including  about  a  dozen  orderlies  who  were 
ranged  in  lines  one  behind  the  other.  His  coun- 
tenance betrayed  no  emotion,  his  expression  was 
serious,  and  in  his  face  nothing  stirred  but  his  fiery 
eyes.  He  listened  quietly  to  all  the  advices  brought 
to  him,  and  if  he  had  to  give  an  order  he  called  out, 
''  Officier  d'ordonnance,"  and  an  orderly  rode  up. 
He  dictated  the  order  to  him  slowly  and  clearly,  and 
then  said,  "  Ecpetez,""  upon  which  the  ofiicer  repeated 
the  order  word  by  word.  If  he  made  a  mistake  the 
Emperor  showed  no  annoyance,  but  repeated  the 
order  again,  and  again  said,  "  Repetez."  When  the 
order  had  been  completely  understood  the  Emperor 
said,  "  Allez,"  and  the  orderly  shot  forth  like  an 
arrow  from  the  string.  From  the  hill  on  which  he 
was  placed  Xapoleon  could  survey  the  whole  battle- 
field, but  he  seemed  to  pay  little  attention  to  what  was 
immediately  in  his  neighbourhood.  He  showed  no 
emotion  at  bad  news ;  once  only,  when  his  orders 
were  not  immediately  obeyed,  he  took  an  additional 
pinch  of  snuff.  When  he  heard  by  the  sound  of  his 
cannon  that  Davout  had  taken  ISTeusiedel  his  coun- 
tenance lit  up  with  joy,  and  turning  to  Berthier,  he 
said,  "  The  battle  is  won." 

At  this  moment  he  determined  to  give  the  enemy 
the  coup-de-grace.  He  ordered  Oudinot  to  attack 
Wagram  and  gave  Macdonald  the  command  of  the 
column   which   was   to   pierce   the   enemy's    centre* 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WAGRAM.  97 

More  than  a  hundred  guns  were  to  begin  the  attack, 
and  the  column  consisted  of  thirty-one  thousand  in- 
fantry and  six  thousand  cavalry.  Napoleon  in  per- 
son brought  up  the  reserve.  The  charge  was  suc- 
cessful. Wagram  was  conquered,  and  the  possession 
of  this,  together  with  that  of  I^eusiedel,  delivered 
the  whole  of  the  plateau  behind  the  Russbach  into 
the  hands  of  the  French,  At  about  two  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon  the  Archduke  saw  that  all  resistance 
was  hopeless  and  began  the  retreat.  He  had  lost 
thirty  thousand  men  and  the  French  eighteen  thou- 
sand. ISTapoleon,  who  had  been  nearly  forty  hours 
in  the  saddle,  gave  up  the  pursuit  and  retired  to  his 
tent  to  rest.  The  Archduke  John,  who  had  been  so 
anxiously  expected,  reached  the  field  of  battle  at  seven 
in  the  evening.  After  some  hesitation  he  determined 
to  retreat  and  the  French  were  left  unmolested. 

The  army  of  the  Archduke  Charles  retired  towards 
Bohemia,  pursued  by  the  corps  of  Marmont,  who 
captured  many  prisoners  and  stragglers.  The  Arch- 
duke concluding  the  armistice  of  Znaim  on  July  11, 
and  the  peace  of  Vienna,  signed  on  October  14,  1809, 
put  an  end  to  the  campaign. 
7 


9Jj  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

TACTICS  OF  EUKOPEAN  NATIONS. 

It  may  be  useful  in  relating  the  history  of  cam- 
paigns, such  as  those  of  iSTapoleon,  in  which  almost  all 
nations  of  Europe  were  engaged,  to  give  some  account 
of  the  tactics  employed  by  them,  and  of  the  systems 
of  discipline  which  were  suited  to  their  individual 
character;  and  in  this  there  can  be  no  better 
authority  than  Colonel  George  Cathcart,  who  was 
himself  present  in  the  campaigns  of  1812  and  1813. 
He  tells  us  that  in  the  eighteenth  century  all  the  war- 
like nations  of  Europe  brought  their  armies  into 
the  field  on  nearly  the  same  system,  which  perhaps 
took  a  consistent  form  in  the  time  of  Gustavus 
Adolphus  and  attained  its  perfection  under  Frederick 
the  Great.  This  system  had  the  formation  of  general 
lines  and  movements  in  line  for  its  chief  characteris- 
tics, and  although  the  evolutions  calculated  to  lead  to 
that  object  were  generally  in  open  columns,  and 
slower  and  more  formal  than  those  adopted  in  recent 
times,  yet  they  continue  even  to  our  own  day  to  form 
the  basis  of  tactics. 

A  new  system  of  tactics  became  necessary  when  the 
armies  of  the  French  Revolution  began  to  overrun 
Europe.  The  ranks  were  mainly  composed  of  raw 
lines  of  youths,  brought  up  in  revolutionary  princi- 
ples, and  not  calculated  to  submit  to  the  methodical 
theories  previously  practised.     A  new  system  was  re- 


] 


TACTICS  OF  EUROPEAN  NATIONS.  99 

quired  to  enable  superior  numbers  to  prevail  over 
superior  discipline.  jSTapoleon  found  this  system  in 
operation  and  followed  it,  but  improved  it  by  his 
genius.  He  trusted  mainly  to  the  influence  of  large 
concentrated  masses  of  troops  placed  in  reserve  and 
concealed  from  the  enemy  as  much  as  possible.  When 
,he  had  arranged  these  with  great  skill,  he  began  oper- 
ations with  numerous  light  troops  along  his  whole 
front,  supported  by  artillery  at  various  points.  His 
object  often  was  to  deceive  the  enemy  as  to  his  real 
intentions,  and  to  induce  them  to  compromise  their 
whole  force  along  an  extensive  front.  At  last  the 
decisive  moment  was  seized  for  bringing  up  an  over- 
whelming mass  of  troops,  preceded  by  a  swarm  of 
light  infantry,  and  covered  by  concentrated  power 
of  artillery,  to  attack  the  weakest  or  most  unguarded 
point  of  the  enemy's  position,  and  to  secure  the  vic- 
tory which  was  completed  by  cavalry.  Under  these 
circumstances  grand  line  movements  of  the  whole 
army,  after  the  manner  of  Frederick  the  Great,  were 
never  used,  and  would  not  have  been  practicable 
amongst  troops  of  that  time.  Occasional  deployments 
into  line  were  used  for  special  purposes  by  single 
battalions  or  brigades,  or  even  by  larger  bodies ;  but 
nothing  like  the  old  "  order  of  battle "  was  ever 
thought  of  in  that  mode  of  warfare. 

This  new  system,  introduced  by  necessity,  had 
two  great  advantages — celerity  of  movement  in  the 
field  and  the  right  use  of  reserves.  The  armies  of 
the  eighteenth  century  were  active  on  the  march, 
but  were  slow  and  pompous  in  their  preparation  for 
attack,  and  they  underrated  the  importance  of  re- 
serves. Wellington  appears  to  have  combined  the 
best  parts  of  both  these  systems  and  to  have  adopted 
a  quickness  of  movement  without  hurry  and  con- 


100  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

fusion,  and  a  judicious  use  of  reserves  without 
abandoning  line  formation. 

Napoleon,  having  been  educated  as  an  artillery 
officer,  always  made  good  use  of  that  arm,  and  placed 
great  reliance  on  it,  often  concentrating  batteries  to 
the  amount  of  one  hundred  guns  to  support  an  attack 
or  strengthen  a  weak  position.  His  light  artillery 
was  also  efficient,  but  from  carelessness  in  its  use 
he  often  exposed  his  guns  to  capture.  But  artillery, 
although  it  may  intimidate  inexperienced  troops,  is 
generally  less  destructive  than  musketry  at  close 
range,  or  the  bayonet  if  applied  with  vigour.  It 
certainly  was  so  in  the  battles  which  we  are  narrat- 
ing. 

The  nations  who  were  opposed  to  and  were  beaten 
by  ISTapoleon  generally  learnt  to  imitate  his  methods 
and  gave  up  many  of  their  old  traditions.  In  the 
campaign  of  1806  the  Russians  were  very  steady  in 
the  ranks  and  capable  of  line  mov^ements,  but  having 
been  beaten  by  Napoleon,  they  changed  their  system 
in  1812  and  1813,  apparently  without  any  great  ad- 
vantage. The  Russian  artillery,  also,  were  better 
able  to  pull  through  and  surmount  obstacles  than 
any  other  in  the  field  ;  they  arrived  sooner  in  position, 
and  could  remain  there  longer.  This  is  greatly  due 
to  their  experience  of  the  bad  roads  of  their  own 
country  and  of  Poland,  which  are  almost  impassable 
in  spring  and  autumn.  The  Russian  cavalry  of  re- 
serve was  most  splendid  and  efficient  in  respect  to 
horses,  appointments  and  discipline,  but  the  Em- 
peror was  too  much  inclined  to  husband  their 
strength  and  to  keep  them  out  of  danger.  The 
Russian  light  cavalry  was  also  very  good  and  steady. 
Cathcart  is  of  opinion  that  the  Cossacks  were  neither 
so  terrible  nor  so  useful  as  has  been  generally  rep- 


TACTICS  OF  EUROPEAN  NATIONS.  IQl 

resented.  They  had  little  efficiency  in  a  general 
action,  or  when  opposed  to  regular  cavalry  forces  at 
all  equal  to  their  own.  On  outpost  duty  they  saved 
much  fatigue  to  the  regular  cavalry,  but  were  never 
entirely  entrusted  with  that  service.  Cathcart  tells 
us  that  he  once  heard  Prince  Eugene  say  that  the 
Cossacks  did  more  good  than  harm  to  their  enemies, 
especially  in  the  retreat  to  Moscow,  and  he  is  in- 
clined to  give  his  adhesion  to  this  judgment. 

At  the  time  of  the  battle  of  Jena  the  Prussians  pos- 
sessed a  fine  army  composed  largely  of  veteran  soldiers, 
and  drilled  in  the  tactics  of  Frederick  the  Great. 
It  was  consequently  beaten  by  Napoleon,  who 
brought  concentrated  masses  to  bear  upon  it  with  a 
celerity  not  hitherto  considered  practicable.  After 
the  peace  of  Tilsit  the  numbers  of  the  Prussian 
regular  army  were  reduced  to  very  small  dimensions, 
but  the  outburst  of  national  feeling  which  followed 
the  humiliation  of  that  ei:)ocli  called  into  existence 
a  national  army,  while  the  genius  of  Scharnhorst  con- 
verted the  oppression  of  the  conqueror  into  a  ma- 
cliinery  for  giving  raw  recruits  the  solidity  and 
efficiency  of  practical  soldiers. 

The  ordinances  of  August,  1808,  gave  the  Prussian 
army  an  entirely  new  organisation.  They  provided 
that  foreign  recruiting  should  be  abolished,  and  that 
promotion  should  no  longer  be  determined  by  ad- 
vantages of  birth  or  mere  length  of  service,  but  that 
professional  knowledge,  education  and  bravery 
should  take  their  place.  Dishonourable  punishments 
were  done  away  with,  the  articles  of  war  made  more 
lenient,  and  improvements  effected  in  dress  and 
equipment,  in  the  formation  and  organisation  of 
the  army,  and  in  the  comparative  strength  of  the 
various  arms.     By  the  treaty    of  Tilsit  the  strength 


102  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  the  Prussian  army  was  reduced  to  forty-five 
thousand  men,  but  it  was  arranged  that  the  com- 
ponent parts  of  this  force  should  be  changed  every 
three  months.  New  recruits  were  admitted  to  the 
army,  and  those  who  passed  out  were  formed  into  a 
reserve.  Even  those  who  had  received  no  military 
trainins;  were  formed  into  a  jSTational  Militia.  Be- 
sides  the  standing  army,  all  able-bodied  men  between 
the  ages  of  eighteen  and  thirty  were  to  arm,  clothe, 
and  exercise  themselves  at  their  own  cost.  The 
schools  also  received  a  military  organisation,  so  that 
boys  and  young  men  might  gain  experience  of 
soldierly  discipline  and  training. 

It  is  evident  that  there  was  not  time  for  these 
new  levies  of  the  Prussian  army  to  arrive  at  tactical 
efiiciency,  and  there  were  good  reasons  for  assimilat- 
ing the  use  made  of  them  in  war  to  that  employed 
by  the  enemy,  and  although  at  a  later  period  the 
Prussian  army  revived  the  old  system  of  line  move- 
ments, vet  in  1813  this  was  not  the  case.  The 
system  then  adopted  was  that  of  concentrated  masses, 
and  the  employment  of  light  infantry  supported  by 
columns  of  attack.  Cathcart  considers  that  the 
Prussian  artillery  was  efficient  in  every  respect,  but 
inferior  to  the  Russian  in  cases  of  difficultv  and  even 
on  the  line  of  march.  The  Prussian  cavalry  was 
extremely  good,  which  is  partly  owing  to  the  fact 
that  Bliicher  was  brought  up  as  a  cavalry  officer. 

Similarly  the  Austrian  army  was  in  a  high  state 
of  systematic  discipline,  and  was  accustomed  to  the 
tactics  dependent  on  line  movement ;  but  it  had  not 
the  good  fortune  of  being  schooled  in  adversity  to  the 
same  degree  as  the  Prussians.  It  never  adopted  a 
democratic  or  a  national  system.  The  new  Bohemian 
and  other  levies  which  were  summoned  to  its  ranks 


I 


TACTICS  OF  EUROPEAN  NATIONS.  103 

were  a  source  rather  of  danger  than  of  strength.  The 
Austrian  artillery,  also,  was  old-fashioned  and  slow 
to  move,  but  when  it  did  arrive  in  positi(?n  was 
scientifically  served.  Their  ambulance,  also,  was 
cumbrous  and  expensive^  and  too  slow  for  the  modern 
rapidity  of  movement.  The  Austrian  cavalry  w^as 
perhaps  superior  on  the  whole  to  that  of  any  other 
Power  in  the  field ;  their  light  cavalry  was  composed 
of  Hungarian  hussars  and  Polish  Uhlans,  which  re- 
ceived from  other  nations  the  sincere  flattery  of 
imitation. 

It  may  be  remarked,  in  conclusion,  that  in  all  con- 
tinental armies  the  order  of  battalions  when  formed 
in  line  was  invariably  three  deep,  the  English  being 
the  only  nation  which  could  trust  the  stability  of  a 
line  only  two  deep.  In  the  days  of  Marlborough  the 
formation  of  the  British  army  was  also  three  deep. 


PART  FOUR. 

THE  INVASION  OF  RUSSIA,  1812. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

THE    ADVANCE    TO    SMOLENSK. 

It  is  no  part  of  the  scope  of  this  work  to  discuss 
the  causes  of  Napoleon's  invasion  of  Russia,  amongst 
the  outward  reasons  for  which,  perhaps,  the  most  in- 
telligible was  the  desire  to  force  Russia  into  a  closer 
observance  of  the  Continental  System,  that  is  of 
the  continental  blockade  against  English  commerce. 
But  it  must  be  remembered  that  the  main  object  of 
Napoleon's  policy,  after  the  regeneration  of  Erance, 
was  the  calling  back  into  life  the  two  other  Latin 
nations,  Italy  and  Spain,  placing  them  under  strong 
governments,  instinct  with  the  modern  spirit,  and 
forming  them  into  a  confederation  under  the  suprem- 
acy of  France  to  resist  the  great  military  despotisms 
of  the  North.  It  must  have  been  obvious  to  Napoleon, 
as  it  is  clear  to  any  one  at  the  opening  of  the  present 
century,  that  unless  some  heroic  effort  were  made  to 
preserve  them,  the  Latin  nations  were  doomed  to 
political  disintegration,  and  that  England  and  Russia 
must  become  the  eventual  masters  of  the  world.  Na- 
poleon, at  St.  Helena,  deeply  as  he  regretted  the  folly 
of  the  Russian  campaign,  also  foresaw  the  gigantic 
104 


THE  ADVANCE  TO  SMOLENSK.  105 

development  of  that  country  in  the  future  and  the 
danger  which  it  might  cause  to  Europe.  It  is  prob- 
able therefore  that,  even  if  events  had  turned  out  very 
differently  to  what  they  actually  did,  ]^apoleon  could 
not  have  completed  his  career  without  a  struggle 
against  Russia  of  some  kind.  The  re-establishment 
of  the  independence  of  Poland,  which  may  be  com- 
pared to  the  creation  of  the  Italian  kingdom,  was  an 
insult  and  a  menace  to  Russia,  and  it  is  not  likely  that 
the  renascence  of  a  Polish  ISTation  would  have  been 
more  tolerable  to  Alexander  than  it  had  been  to  his 
predecessors. 

However  this  may  be,  the  expedition  into  Russia  is 
the  greatest  military  enterprise  the  world  has  ever 
seen,  and  it  will  be  sufficient  if  we  confine  ourselves 
to  its  military  aspects.  Napoleon  began  to  cross  the 
Niemen  on  June  24.  To  those  who  know  the  later 
history  of  the  campaign  it  is  difiicult  to  understand 
why  he  commenced  operations  so  late  in  the  year. 
Napoleon  had  originally  intended  to  open  the  cam- 
paign towards  the  close  of  May,  at  which  time  the 
grass  would  be  grown  and  there  would  be  fodder  for 
the  horses.  He  also  apparently  designed  to  attack 
St.  Petersburg  and  to  begin  with  the  siege  of  Riga 
and  Diinaburg.  He  probably  hoped  to  bring  the 
Russians  to  a  decisive  engagement  somewhere  in 
Lithuania,  and  it  is  fairly  certain  that,  if  at  the  out- 
set of  the  campaign  he  had  contemplated  the  march 
to  Moscow,  he  would  not  have  lost  so  important  a 
month  as  June. 

The  Emperor  was  for  some  time  in  the  dark  as  to 
the  Russian  plans,  but  when  he  heard  that  two  Rus- 
sian armies  had  been  formed,  one  of  one  hundred  and 
fifty  thousand  men  under  Barclay  de  Tolly,  and  the 
other  of  one  hundred  thousand  men  under  Prince 


106  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Bagration ;  that  the  first  was  to  advance  in  the  direc- 
tion from  Vilna  to  Kowno,  and  the  second  from  Minsk 
to  Grodno,  he  determined  to  cross  the  Niemen  at 
Kowno,  to  march  quickly  on  to  Vilna,  to  place  him- 
self hetween  the  two  armies  and  to  keep  them  separ- 
ated during  the  remainder  of  the  campaign.  ^N'a- 
poleon  had  with  him  the  corps  of  Davout,  Oudinot, 
Xey,  and  the  Imperial  Guard.  Macdonald  was  to 
cross  the  Niemen  (or,  as  it  is  there  called,  the  Memel) 
at  Tilsit,  occupy  both  sides  of  the  stream  and  march 
into  Courland.  He  had  with  him  thirty  thousand 
Prussians  and  two  divisions  of  Poles,  and  these 
formed  the  left  wing.  Prince  Eugene  was  to  com- 
mand the  right  wing,  eighty  thousand  strong,  coq- 
sisting  of  Italians  and  Bavarians,  and  was  to  cross 
the  I^iemen  at  Prenn.  Still  further  to  the  right 
King  Jerome  was  to  pass  over  the  stream  with  the 
Poles,  Saxons  and  Westphalians  and  the  fourth  corps 
of  the  reserve  artillery.  Besides  there  was  a  reserve 
of  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  men  and  sixty 
thousand  soldiers  who  had  been  disabled  by  the  heavy 
marchine;.  The  whole  armv  which  traversed  the 
frontier  of  Russia  at  midsummer  is  reckoned  by  the 
best  authorities  at  630,058  men,  consisting  of  533,- 
479  foot  and  96,579  horse — the  largest  body  of  men 
which  ever  obeyed  a  single  commander  in  historical 
times. 

This  mighty  host  stood  on  the  banks  of  the  'Nie- 
men  on  the  eve  of  St.  John's  Day,  1812.  ISTothing 
was  heard  of  the  movement  of  the  Russian  armies, 
but  some  squadrons  of  Cossacks  were  seen  riding 
over  the  plain  on  the  other  side  of  the  stream.  The 
Emperor  passed  the  night  in  a  peasant's  hut  on  the 
left  bank,  having  traversed  the  river,  driven  away 
the  Cossacks,  and  chosen  the  best  spot  for  crossing. 


THE  ADVANCE  TO  SMOLENSK.  107 

Three  bridges  were  constructed.  Xapoleon  stood  at 
their  head  at  daybreak  and  witnessed  the  march 
of  the  invading  columns.  He  was  saluted  by  the 
youth  of  Europe,  an  army  drawn  from  every  portion 
of  his  vast  dominions,with  the  cries  of  "'  Vive  I'Em- 
pereur!  "  and  a  joyous  enthusiasm  which  showed  no 
foreboding  of  future  disaster. 

During  the  whole  of  two  days  the  vast  masses  were 
defiling  across  the  bridge,  and,  as  soon  as  they  had 
crossed,  pressed  on  to  Vilna.  The  distance  is  sixty 
miles,  and  it  was  covered  by  many  of  the  troops  in 
three  days.  During  this  time  the  Emperor  Alexan- 
der was  at  Vilna,  which  he  did  not  leave  till  June 
27.  Before  doing  so  he  issued  a  proclamation  to 
his  army  saying  that  he  had  no  wish  for  war,  that  he 
had  refrained  from  arming  until  repeated  insults 
compelled  him  to  do  so,  and  that  the  attack  of  Xa- 
poleon  was  unjorovoked.  On  the  same  day  he  ad- 
dressed a  letter  to  the  Governor  of  St.  Petersburg, 
by  way  of  a  manifesto  to  the  nation,  which  ended 
with  the  declaration  that  he  would  not  lav  down  his 
arms  so  long  as  a  single  hostile  soldier  remained  on 
the  soil  of  Russia.  He  also  sent  his  aide-de-camp, 
Balashov,  to  ISTapoleon,  with  offers  to  negotiate  if 
the  French  would  recross  the  J^iemen.  The  messen- 
ger was  by  the  Emperor's  orders  detained  by  Davout 
until  Napoleon  was  installed  in  Vilna  in  the  quarters 
which  Alexander  had  only  just  quitted. 

When  the  heads  of  the  first  French  column  reached 
Vilna  the  Lithuanians  were  prepared  to  give  them  a 
welcome  reception.  But  the  troops  were  weary  with 
their  forced  march,  hungry  and  thirstv ;  tliev  threw 
themselves  like  beasts  of  prey  upon  the  bakers'  shops 
and  the  wine-shops  and  consumed  everything  that 
they  could  lay  their  hands  upon.     The  inhabitants 


108  WAES  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

were  frightened ;  they  shut  up  their  houses  and  con- 
cealed themselves.  The  consequence  of  this  was  that 
when  Xapoleon  rode  into  the  town  on  the  morning 
of  June  28,  he  found  closed  windows  instead  of 
triumphal  arches.  aSo  officers  came  out  to  meet  him. 
Vilna  seemed  a  citv  of  the  dead.  He  rode  throueh 
the  town  to  the  bridge,  which  the  Russians  had  fired 
before  their  retreat.  On  the  other  side  of  the  stream 
he  saw  the  magazines  blazing  which  the  Russians 
had  sjDent  eighteen  months  in  collecting.  He  then 
retired  to  the  Palace,  which  Alexander  had  left  the 
evening  before,  and  sent  for  the  authorities,  by  whom 
he  was  well  received. 

On  the  following  dav  there  was  a  violent  storm, 
the  precursor  of  five  days'  heavy  rain.  The  tempera- 
ture fell  and  the  heat  of  summer  was  turned  into  the 
frost  of  winter.  The  soldiers  had  their  first  experi- 
ence of  Russian  weather.  Its  principal  effect  was 
to  disorganise  the  vast  trains  of  supplies  which  were 
following  the  ranks  of  the  army.  The  roads  broke 
up,  the  horses  failed,  the  waggons  stuck  fast  in  the 
ruts  unable  to  move,  and  the  soldiers  had  no  food  ex- 
cept what  they  could  obtain  by  pillage. 

On  July  1  Balashov  was  admitted  by  the  Emperor 
to  an  audience.  The  conversation  lasted  a  long  time. 
Amongst  other  things  Xapoleon  asked  for  informa- 
tion about  Moscow.  "  How  many  inhabitants  has 
Moscow  ? "  "  Three  hundred  thousand.  Sire." 
"  How  many  houses  ?  "  "  Ten  thousand,  Sire." 
"  And  how  many  churches  ?  "  "  More  than  three 
hundred  and  fifty."  "Why  so  many?"  "They 
are  much  frequented  by  our  people."  "  How  is 
that  ? "  "  It  is  because  our  people  are  very  re- 
ligious." "  Bah !  no  one  is  religious  nowadays." 
"  Pardon,    Sire,    that    is   not   the   case   everj-^vhere. 


THE  ADVANCE  TO  SMOLENSK.  109 

People  are  no  longer  religious  in  Germany  and  Italy, 
but  they  are  still  religious  in  Spain  and  Russia." 
"  What  is  the  roadtoMoscow  ?  "  ^'  Sire,  your  question 
is  embarrassing.  The  Russians  say  as  the  French 
do,  '  All  roads  lead  to  Rome.'  Many  roads  lead  to 
Moscow;  Charles  XII.  chose  the  road  by  Poltava." 
The  negotiations  came  to  nothing.  The  two  Em- 
perors, who  had  been  so  friendly  at  Tilsit,  never  saw 
each  other  again,  yet  Alexander  always  retained 
kindly  feelings  towards  him,  and  he  was,  perhaps,  the 
only  European  sovereign  who  felt  comj)assion  for  the 
prisoner  of  St.  Helena. 

On  July  17  Xapoleon  left  Vilna  to  begin  the 
march  to  Moscow.  Competent  judges  are  of  opinion 
that  if  he  had  not  delayed  there  so  long  the  Russian 
armies  might  have  been  destroyed.  Their  forces 
consisted  at  this  time  of  one  hundred  and  seventy 
thousand  ordinary  soldiers  and  ten  thousand  Cos- 
sacks. Their  whole  strength  was  calculated  at 
six  hundred  thousand,  but  of  these  only  four  hun- 
dred thousand  were  ready,  and  not  more  than  one 
hundred  and  eighty  thousand  were  actually  available 
to  oppose  the  French.  Barclay  de  Tolly  retired 
slowly  towards  the  Dwina ;  Bagration  remained 
in  the  province  of  Minsk.  Napoleon's  design  was 
to  crush  Barclay  himself,  whilst  Davout  and  Jerome 
disposed  of  Bagration.  The  Emperor  began  by 
marching  towards  the  Dwina  as  if  he  wished  to 
join  Macdonald,  who  was  advancing  on  Mitau 
and  Riga;  he  then  turned  suddenly  to  the  east 
and  reached  Glubokoie  on  July  18.  But  he  found 
no  Russians  there.  Barclay  was  determined  not 
to  be  cut  off  from  Smolensk.  He  placed  his  safety 
in  retreat,  and  with  this  object  in  view  sacrificed 
the  camp  of  Drissa,  which  it  had  been  intended  to  de- 


110  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

fend  in  imitation  of  the  lines  of  Torres  Vedras,  the 
citadel  of  Wellington  in  Portugal,  and  the  possession 
of  the  valley  of  "the  Dwina.  For  these  reasons  he 
withdrew  to"  Vitebsk,  followed  at  a  considerable  dis- 
tance by  Miirat's  cavalry. 

Napoleon  had  no  other  course  open  to  him  but  to 
pursue  Barclay  on  the  road  to  Vitebsk,  hoping  to 
bring  him  to  a  general  action.  But  the  liussian 
general  vanished  before  him.  A  cavalry  engage- 
ment took  place  at  Ostrovno  on  July  26,  in  which  the 
Russians  lost  some  two  thousand  five  hundred  men. 
Two  days  later  Napoleon  entered  Vitebsk,  but  ho 
found  it  as  deserted  as  he  had  found  Vilna, 
Barclay  being  in  full  march  for  Smolensk.  He  was 
much  disappointed,  as  he  had  hoped  to  engage  the 
enemy  before  he  arrived  at  Vilna,  and  certainly  be- 
fore he  reached  Vitebsk,  but  the  Russians  retired  be- 
fore him,  devastating  the  country  in  their  march, 
pursuing  the  same  policy  as  the  Tartars  had  em- 
ployed with  such  success  against  Peter  the  Great. 

Nor  had  the  efforts  of  his  subordinates  been  more 
successful.  Davout  was  marching  against  Bagra- 
tion,  having  Napoleon's  youngest  brother,  Jerome, 
King  of  Westphalia,  under  his  orders.  Jerome's 
forces  did  not  arrive  at  the  specified  time,  whether  by 
his  o^vn  fault  or  not  is  a  matter  of  dispute,  but  Na- 
poleon thought  he  was  to  blame  and  placed  the  whole 
of  his  army  on  the  right  under  the  command  of 
Davoust.  Jerome  retired  in  disgust  to  Cassel,  the 
capital  of  his  Westphalian  kingdom.  In  con- 
sequence of  these  errors,  for  which  Napoleon  himself 
may  have  been  partly  responsible,  Bagration  was 
abletoretreat  to  Smolensk.  Davout  intercepted' him 
at  Mohilev  on  July  23,  and  the  Russians  suffered 
a  defeat.     But  they  were  able  to  cross  the  Dnieper 


THE  ADVANCE  TO  SMOLENSK.  HI 

lower  down  and  to  continue  their  marcli.  On 
August  3  the  two  armies  of  Barclay  de  Tolly  and 
Bagration  were  united  at  Smolensk,  so  that  plan  of 
Napoleon  had  completely  failed, 

Napoleon  was  not  a  man  to  be  disconcerted  by  the 
failure  of  his  first  plan,  nor  was  he  long  in  forming 
another.  He  determined  to  march  southwards  to- 
wards the  Dnieper,  to  join  the  army  of  Davout,  and 
then  to  proceed  up  the  left  bank  of  the  stream  to- 
wards Smolensk.  Having  occupied  this  important 
town,  he  would  cross  over  to  the  right  bank  and  force 
the  Eussians  to  a  decisive  battle,  even  if  they  did  not 
come  out  to  meet  him  before,  in  order  to  preserve 
one  of  their  sacred  cities  from  violation.  He  left 
Vitebsk  on  August  8,  crossed  the  Dnieper  at  Orsha, 
and  effected  a  junction  with  Davout.  He  found 
the  left  bank  defended  only  by  bodies  of  Cossacks 
who  were  easily  disposed  of.  Marching  with  ex- 
treme rapidity,  he  arrived  at  Smolensk  on  August  l>i, 
where  the  Russians  were  already  assembled. 

After  a  considerable  struggle  the  conqueror  en- 
tered the  town,  but  he  found  little  either  to  gratify 
his  ambition  or  to  further  his  designs.  Barclay,  who 
now  had  command  of  both  Russian  armies,  was  able 
to  retreat  from  Smolensk  as  he  had  retreated  from 
Vilna  and  Vitebsk,  and  to  cover  his  march  fifteeen 
thousand  Russians  sacrificed  themselves  on  the  walls 
and  in  the  streets  of  their  holy  city.  A  council  of 
war  was  held  and  the  advance  upon  Moscow  resolved 
upon.  It  is  said  that  Murat  and  Prince  Eugene 
were  opposed  to  this  plan,  but  the  will  of  their  master 
was  inflexible  and  the  majority  voted  with  him.  Be- 
fore this  final  resolution  was  adopted  was  fought  the 
battle  of  Valutino  or  Lubino,  in  which  Ney  and 
Murat  attacked  the  rear-guard  of  the  Russian  army 


112  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

on  August  19.  The  loss  on  both  sides  was  very 
licavy,  but  the  engagement  had  no  influence  in  cheek- 
ing the  Russian  retreat.  There  is  reason  to  believe 
that  Xapoleon  originally  intended  his  first  campaign 
to  have  ended  at  Smolensk.  But  matters  had  not 
turned  out  according  to  his  expectations.  To  arrest 
his  march  at  Smolensk  under  present  circumstances 
would  have  been  to  acknowledge  defeat,  and  defeat 
meant  the  destruction  of  his  empire. 

The  successes  of  Napoleon's  generals  had  in  the 
meantime  been  greater  than  his  own.  Macdonald 
had  occupied  Mitau  and  was  now  blockading  Riga. 
Oudinot  occupied  the  valley  of  the  Dwina  and  cap- 
tured Polotsk.  St.  Cyr,  who  succeeded  him  in  his 
command,  defeated  Wittgenstein  on  August  18.  On 
the  right  the  Austrians  under  Schwarzenberg 
obtained  advantages  over  the  enemy  and  were  able 
to  hold  the  Russians  of  Tormasov  in  check.  It  is 
possible  that  these  successes  encouraged  the  Emperor 
on  his  advance,  as  they  seemed  to  show  that  his  com- 
munications were  assured. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BORODINO.  113 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BOKODIIvrO. 

The  march  upon  Moscow  began  on  August  25, 
1812,  Napoleon  having  with  him  a  force  of  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  thousand  men,  which  was  perhaps  suffi- 
cient to  conquer  the  armies  opposed  to  him.  The  rest 
of  the  Grand  Army  was  scattered  either  between 
Vihia  and  Smolensk  or  on  the  wings.  The  condition 
of  the  ordinary  troops  became  worse  than  ever.  After 
leaving  Smolensk  the  country  was  found  to  be  a 
barren  desert,  from  which  the  peasants  had  fled  after 
burning  their  villages.  The  towns,  themselves  of  no 
importance,  were  abandoned.  The  harvest  of  1812 
was  scanty.  The  latest  historian  of  this  campaign, 
Mr.  George,  tells  us  that  between  Smolensk  and  Mos- 
cow the  operations  were  of  extreme  simplicity.  The 
Russian  army,  he  says,  retreated  directly  on  their 
base,  from  time  to  time  threatening  to  give  battle  and 
once  doing  so,  the  French  following  them,  ready  to 
accept  battle  if  it  were  offered,  but  unable  to  compel 
it.  The  Russians  suffered  but  little,  as  they  had 
ample  magazines  on  the  road ;  on  the  other  hand,  they 
destroyed  all  the  stores  which  they  could  not  carry 
off.  The  French  suffered  considerably,  as  they  had 
to  live  by  marauding,  and  spread  themselves  many 
miles  on  each  side  of  the  road  in  search  of  food. 
Still  worse  was  the  lack  of  water.  When  the  army 
reached  the  Borodino  it  only  numbered  five-eighths 
of  what  it  had  been  on  arriving  at  Smolensk. 
8 


114  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

The  French  passed  through  Dorogobuzh,  Viasma, 
and  Gzhatsk.  At  Viasma  reinforcements  were  re- 
ceived of  fifteen  thousand  men.  Barclay  had  made 
up  his  mind  that  the  time  had  now  come  for  a 
decisive  engagement,  and  was  preparing  a  position 
between  the  two  last-mentioned  toAVTis,  when  on  the 
evening  of  August  29  Prince  Kutusov  appeared  to 
take  over  the  supreme  command. 

Russian  public  opinion  had  been  excited  by  these 
continual  retreats,  the  more  so  that  they  were 
directed  by  Barclay,  who  was  a  German  by  origin. 
The  Russians  became  ashamed  of  giving  up  their 
country  to  the  enemy,  without  a  struggle.  It  seemed 
as  if  Moscow  would  in  its  turn  suffer  the  fate  of 
Smolensk.  The  result  of  this  was  that  Barclay  was 
superseded  by  Kutusov,  whose  name  is  familiar  lo 
us  from  the  battle  of  Austerlitz.  He  was  not  a  more 
capable  general  than  Barclay,  being  over  seventy 
years  of  age  and  too  stout  to  mount  on  horseback. 
'Not  was  his  mind  much  more  active  than  his  body. 
But  he  was  supposed  to  represent  the  fighting  tradi- 
tions of  Suvorov,  and  he  possessed  the  confidence  of 
the  nation.  He  declined  toengage  in  the  position  chosen 
bv  Barclay,  and  after  a  few  days'  march  selected  an- 
other,  ever  after  famous  in  history  as  the  Borodino. 

On  September  5  the  French  army  arrived  on  the 
banks  of  the  Kolotza,  a  stream  nearly  dry  in  summer, 
flowing  north-eastwards  into  the  Moskva,  by  which 
name  the  French  call  the  battle.  Tli^ey  found  the 
heights  on  the  other  side  of  the  river  fortified  by 
earthworks,  a  large  redoubt  on  the  south  and  three 
small  batteries.  The  left  of  the  Russians  rested  on 
Utitza  and  the  right  on  the  Kolotza.  In  front  was  the 
redoubt  of  Shevardino  which  Xapoleon  was  able  to  oc- 
cupy immediately.    The  numbers  engaged  w;ere  about 


THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BORODINO.      115 

one  hundred  and  twentj-five  thousand  on  the  French 
side  and  one  hundred  thousand  on  the  Russian.  The 
plan  of  Kutusov  was  to  remain  firm  in  his  position, 
and  to  rest  entirely  on  the  defensive.  l^apoleon's 
plan  was  also  simple — to  mass  guns  at  points  con- 
venient for  commanding  the  Russian  defences,  and 
under  cover  of  their  fire  to  take  them  by  assault  with 
infantry,  Poniatowski  at  the  same  time  turning  the 
enemy's  left.  Davout  was  posted  on  the  right,  in 
front  of  the  Shevardino  redoubt ;  ISTey,  with  Junot  to 
support  him,  prolonged  the  line  to  the  Kolotza  and 
was  to  attack  towards  Semenovskoie ;  Eugene  com- 
manded the  left ;  he  was  to  gain  possession  of  Boro- 
dino, and  at  the  due  time  attack  the  great  redoubt. 
Behind  the  centre  was  posted  the  guard,  which  had, 
however,  sent  part  of  its  artillery  to  the  front.  Thus 
one  hundred  and  fifteen  thousand  men  were  drawn  up 
in  a  line  not  much  more  than  two  miles  in  length. 

The  battle  began  on  September  7  at  six  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  and  by  eight  o'clock  Davout  and  ISTey 
had  captured  the  works  opposed  to  them.  By  this 
time  also  Poniatowski  had  reached  Utitza  and 
Eugene  had  taken  Borodino.  In  order  to  complete 
the  victory  Murat  and  Ney  asked  ISTapoleon  to  send 
the  guard  into  action,  but  he  refused,  saying  that  the 
time  had  not  yet  come.  After  a  slight  pause  the 
battle  began  anew,  the  principal  point  of  attack  being 
the  great  redoubt.  ^ey  and  Murat  crossed  the 
ravine  and  captured  Semenovskoie.  This  enabled 
them  to  attack  the  great  redoubt  in  the  rear,  whilst 
Eugene  assailed  it  in  front.  After  a  considerable 
struggle  it  came  into  the  possession  of  the  French. 
This  was  the  turning-point  of  the  battle,  but  success 
was  dearly  purchased,  for  in  the  melee  Caulaincourt 
was  killed. 


116  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

It  was  now  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  but  the 
victory  was  not  complete.  It  is  said  that  N^apoleon 
was  suffering  from  a  sev'ere  cold,  and  that  he  was 
without  his  usual  energy,  but  Mr.  George  dismisses 
this  as  a  legend.  It  is  certain  that  ^ej  and  Murat 
again  asked  for  the  guard  to  defeat  the  Russians,  but 
^Napoleon  refused,  and  the  best  judges  are  of  opinion 
that  he  was  right  in  his  refusal.  He  said,  "  If  my 
guard  is  destroyed  to-day  and  I  have  to  iight  another 
battle  to-morrow,  how  shall  I  gain  it  ?  "  He  there- 
fore contented  himself  with  cannonading  the  Rus- 
sian position  with  the  whole  of  his  artillery.  The 
Russians  held  their  ground  with  obstinacy  and 
Kutusov  did  not  retire  from  the  field  till  the  follow- 
ing day.  The  loss  was  very  heavy  on  both  sides. 
At  least  seventy  thousand  dead  and  wounded  strewed 
the  battle-field.  The  Russians  retreated  easily  and 
kept  at  bay  the  languid  pursuit  of  the  French.  The 
army  of  Kutusov  could  not  prevent  the  French  from 
entering  Moscow,  but  it  remained  organised  and 
formed  the  kernel  of  future  vengeance,  and  around  it 
was  grouped  in  October  the  levy  of  the  Russian 
nation  which  eventually  accomplished  the  destruction 
of  the  invaders. 


MOSCOW.  117 


CHAPTEK  XIX. 

MOSCOW. 

The  French  entered  Moscow  with  Murat  at  their 
head  on  September  14,  1812,  just  a  week  after  the 
battle  of  Borodino.  Thej  had  reached  the  holy  city, 
the  goal  of  their  wanderings,  with  its  fortified 
Kremlin  and  its  gilded  cupolas.  But  they  found  the 
capital  deserted.  The  nobles  and  the  well-to-do 
citizens  had  left  the  town;  the  palaces,  well  stored 
with  supplies,  were  empty  of  inhabitants,  and  the 
streets  were  given  up  to  the  common  people  and  to 
some  prisoners  who  had  been  released  from  gaol.  The 
first  sight  of  Moscow  had  worked  upon  the  French 
army  like  that  of  Jerusalem  upon  the  Crusaders,  but 
when  they  entered  the  deserted  streets  they  were 
seized  with  a  grim  horror.  In  all  the  capitals  which 
I^apoleon  had  entered  he  had  been  met  by  deputa- 
tions from  the  municipality  begging  for  grace  and 
mercy.  Here  there  was  nothing  of  the  kind;  he 
was  received  by  no  one.  The  detachments  which 
first  entered  suspected  treachery  and  moved  along  the 
streets  with  caution,  but  they  soon  saw  that  the  city 
Avas  indeed  abandoned  and  that  the  signs  of  deso- 
lation were  real. 

ISTapoleon  had  hardly  established  himself  in  the 
Kremlin  before  a  fire  broke  out  in  a  large  store  con- 
taining spirits  belonging  to  the  Government.  This 
had  been  extinguished  with  difficulty,  when  it  was 
discovered  that  the  great  bazaar  lying  north-east  of 


118  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  Kremlin  was  on  fire.  The  wind  blowing  from 
the  east  carried  the  conflacration  across  the  finest 
streets  of  the  citv,  and  then  a  change  in  the  wind 
brought  the  flames  back  till  the  Kremlin  itself  was  in 
imminent  danger  and  ISTapoleon  was  obliged  to  leave 
it.  The  fire  raged  for  three  days  entirely  beyond  all 
control. 

When  Xapoleon  was  at  St.  Helena  he  began  to 
ask  Betsy  Balcombe,  the  little  English  girl  who 
treated  him  with  such  scant  ceremony,  some  questions 
in  geography,  and  on  her  giving  him  the  information 
that  Moscow  was  the  capital  of  Russia,  he  fixed  his 
eyes  upon  her  with  a  terrible  expression  and  said  in 
a  solemn  voice,  "  Who  burnt  it  ?  "  The  poor  child 
did  not  comprehend  the  significance  of  the  question, 
which  has  been  indeed  a  puzzle  ever  since.  But 
there  can  be  little  doubt  that  it  was  the  work  of  the 
governor  Rostophchin,  acting  on  his  own  responsibil- 
itv,  without  communicatinff  his  desim  to  the  Em- 
peror.  Wolzogen  tells  us  that  when  he  was  leaving 
Moscow  with  Barclay  de  Tolly  and  his  suite 
Eostophchin  joined  them.  He  saw  on  the  road  some 
waggons  guarded  by  soldiers,  and  on  coming  up  with 
them  discovered  that  thev  were  the  Moscow  fire 
engines.  He  naturally  asked  Rostophchin  why  he 
had  removed  them  from  the  capital,  and  received  the 
reply  that  he  had  his  good  reasons ;  "  But,"  he  added, 
"  I  have  taken  for  myself  only  the  horse  on  which  I 
ride  and  the  dress  which  I  wear."  Then  turning 
to  his  son  Sergius,  a  boy  of  sixteen,  he  said,  "  Take 
leave  of  Moscow  for  the  last  time ;  in  half  an  hour 
it  will  be  in  flames." 

iN'apoleon  employed  the  month  which  he  spent  at 
Moscow  in  active  correspondence.  He  first  formed 
a  plan  for  marching  upon  St.  Petersburg,  but  Prince 


MOSCOW.  119 

Eugene  was  the  only  one  of  his  generals  who  sup- 
ported it  and  the  rest  clamoured  for  repose  and 
finality.  He  also  sent,  more  than  once,  overtures  to 
Alexander  to  make  peace,  but  the  Tsar,  according  to 
his  settled  resolution,  refused  to  negotiate  so  long 
as  a  single  foreign  soldier  remained  on  Russian  soil. 
It  is  not  knoum  why  jSTapoleon  stayed  at  Moscow  so 
long  or  why  he  left  when  he  did.  He  formed  day 
after  day  the  most  inconsistent  projects;  he  claimed 
that  he  was  giving  the  army  repose  whilst  the  cavalry 
was  rapidly  perishing  from  want  of  forage,  and 
whilst  Kutusov,  who  was  posted  to  the  south  of  Mos- 
cow at  TarutinO,  received  constant  reinforcements 
and  patiently  waited  for  the  winter. 

At  last,  on  October  19,  iSTapoleon  suddenly  deter- 
mined to  leave  Moscow.  He  marched  in  a  southerly 
direction  towards  the  army  of  Kutusov,  with  the 
view  of  dispersing  it  and  of  living  in  the  provinces 
of  Kaluga  and  Orel,  from  which  he  hoped  to  pene- 
trate into  Poland.  The  numbers  of  the  French  army 
leaving  Moscow  were  ninety  thousand  infantry,  in 
good  condition  after  their  long  rest,  fourteen  thou- 
sand cavalry  in  a  wretched  state,  and  other  arms 
numbering  twelve  thousand. 

The  advanced  guard  commanded  by  Eugene  on 
reaching  the  town  of  Maloyaroslavetz  found  a  body 
of  Russian  troops  dra^vn  up  to  intercept  them.  There 
was  a  hotly-contested  struggle  for  the  bridge,  and 
Eugene,  with  his  Italians,  succeeded  in  capturing 
the  bridge  and  in  taking  the  town,  which  was  abandon- 
ed by  the  Russians.  Xapoleon  arrived  about  one 
o'clock,  but  he  saw  that  it  would  be  useless  to  bring  any 
large  number  of  forces  across  the  bridge,  which  was 
commanded  by  Russian  guns,  and  that  the  whole 
Russian  army  would  be  in  position  to  meet  him,  be- 


120  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

fore  ho  could  reinforce  Eugene.  He  therefore  had 
to  give  up  all  hope  of  advancing  in  that  direction. 
It  is  said  that  Malojaroslavetz,  although  it  was  a 
battle  on  a  small  scale,  was  the  turning-point  of  Na- 
poleon's career,  and  may  therefore  be  reckoned  as  one 
of  the  decisive  battles  of  the  world.  Mr.  George  says 
that  it  showed  for  the  first  time  that  his  expedition 
had  substantially  failed.  "  This  day  converted 
fortune  into  destruction  and  made  his  ultimate  over- 
throw a  certainty  when  his  enemies  combined  against 
him."  After  the  battle  he  sent  for  Berthier,  Murat, 
and  Bessieres.  After  discussing  the  state  of  affairs 
he  put  his  elbows  on  the  table,  and  sat  for  an  hour 
gazing  at  the  map,  with  his  head  between  his  hands, 
without  uttering  a  word.  "  In  that  bitter  moment," 
says  Mr.  George,  "  he  perhaps  realised  for  the  first 
time  that  he  had  failed  irretrievably."  On  the  fol- 
lowing day  he  was  nearly  captured  by  a  body  of  Cos- 
sacks. 

JSTapoleon  now  abandoned  the  project  of  retreating 
by  Kaluga,  and  determined  to  regain,  by  a  cross  pas- 
sage at  Mozhaisk,  the  road  to  Smolensk,  which  he  had 
followed  on  his  advance.  We  now  know  that,  if  he 
had  persisted  in  his  first  designs,he  would  have  been 
successful.  Kutusov  had  made  up  his  mind  to  re- 
treat to  Kaluga,  if  ISTapoleon  should  show  any  signs 
of  seriously  attacking  him,  and  his  troops  had  already 
begun  to  move  with  that  object.  If  the  Emperor 
had  made  one  more  effort  he  might  have  gained  his 
purpose  of  returning  through  a  fertile  and  inhab- 
ited country. 

I^apoleon  reached  Borodino  on  October  28  and 
found  many  thousands  of  corpses  still  unburied. 
On  the  last  day  of  the  month  he  arrived  at  Viasma. 
The  soldiers  had  by  this  time  no  bread  and  no  brandy ; 


MOSCOW.  121 

they  had  nothing  to  eat  but  the  flesh  of  the  horses, 
which  were  constantly  dying  from  fatigue.  The 
weather  was  still  fine  and  bright,  but  the  cold  at  night 
was  severe.  The  soldiers  who  wandered  away  in 
search  of  food  never  came  back;  they  either  per- 
ished of  hunger,  were  taken  by  the  Cossacks,  or  were 
killed  by  the  peasantry.  Hundreds  threw  away  their 
arms,  and  hundreds  more  died  by  the  wayside.  The 
first  attack  of  the  Kussians  upon  the  retreating  army 
was  made  at  Viasma  on  ISTovember  3.  Apparently 
it  might  have  resulted  in  a  terrible  disaster  for  the 
French  if  Kutusov  had  displayed  a  reasonable  amount 
of  energy.  The  French  had  only  thirty-seven  thou- 
sand men  on  the  field,  so  seriously  had  they  been 
weakened  by  the  causes  which  have  been  enumerated. 

The  retreat  on  Smolensk  was  continued,  'Nej  com- 
manding the  rear-guard  and  performing  prodigies  of 
valour  and  endurance,  fighting  like  a  common  soldier. 
The  winter  now  began  in  earnest.  On  November 
6  there  was  a  heavy  fall  of  snow,  accompanied  by 
a  cold  wind.  The  horses  died  like  flies.  It  was  im- 
possible to  discover  food  for  them  beneath  the  snow, 
and  they  were  helpless  on  the  frozen  ground.  Hour 
by  hour  vehicles  had  to  be  abandoned  and  the  num- 
ber of  stragglers  enormously  increased.  In  the 
passage  of  the  Kiver  Vop  Eugene's  corps  was  reduced 
from  twelve  thousand  to  six  thousand,  and  only 
twelve  guns  were  left  out  of  the  ninety  with  which 
it  started  from  Moscow. 

On  November  9  Napoleon  arrived  at  Smolensk, 
his  advanced  guard  having  already  passed  it,  not 
having  been  allowed  to  enter  the  town.  Here  bad 
news  awaited  him.  Baraguay  d'Hilliers  had  lost  a 
brigade  of  two  thousand  men,  and  Vitebsk  had  fallen 
into  the  hands  of  the  Eussians  notwithstanding  the 


122  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

efforts  of  Marslial  Victor  to  defend  it.  It  was  ob- 
viously impossible  to  make  a  long  halt  at  Smolensk, 
still  less  to  make  it  a  nucleus  of  winter  quarters. 
^Napoleon  left  Smolensk  accompanied  by  the  guard 
on  ]!^ovember  14.  His  fighting  troops  were  now  re- 
duced to  thirty  thousand,  and  detachments  of  the 
army  came  up  at  considerable  intervals.  He  made 
an  arrangement  for  the  purpose  of  resting  the  sol- 
diers that  they  should  leave  the  city  in  detachments, 
Eugene  on  November  15,  Davout  on  November  16, 
and  Ney  with  the  rear-guard  on  November  17.  But 
these  arrangements,  conceived  in  the  interests  of  the 
soldiers,  proved  disastrous  for  them  and  for  their 
general. 


THE  BEREZINA.  123 


CHAPTER  XX. 

THE  BEKEZINA. 

The  Russians  now  determined  to  intercept  the  re- 
treat of  the  Grand  Army,  and  for  that  purpose  Kut- 
usov  took  up  a  position  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Kras- 
noe,  half-way  between  Smolensk  and  Orsha.  He 
allowed  Xapoleon  to  pass  unmolested,  but  when 
Eugene  arrived  he  found  the  way  barred.  He  at- 
tacked vigorously  in  three  columns,  but  was  repulsed. 
Profiting  by  the  darkness,  he  made  a  circuit  and 
reached  Krasnoe  during  the  night  with  three  thou- 
sand five  hundred  men  out  of  the  six  thousand  with 
whom  he  had  left  Smolensk.  Davout,  who  followed, 
escaped  with  some  difliculty,  the  attention  of  the  enemy 
having  been  diverted  by  the  action  of  Xapoleon  and 
Eugene ;  but  Xev  met  with  terrible  difficulties.  The 
corps  which  he  commanded  had  been  made  up  at 
Smolensk  to  the  streng-th  of  six  thousand  men.  He 
left  the  town  before  daylight  on  Xovember  17,  hav- 
ing previously  blown  up  the  ancient  walls  and  other 
buildings — a  needless  act  of  barbarity.  On  the 
afternoon  of  the  day  following,  when  not  far  from 
Krasnoe,  Xey  found  a  reserve  force  posted  across  the 
road.  The  day  being  ioggy,  he  was  unable  to  see 
the  numbers  of  the  enemy  and  attacked  without  hesi- 
tation. The  struggle  only  lasted  a  quarter  of  an  hour ; 
the  Erench  were  repulsed,  and  nothing  was  left  to 
him  but  to  reach  the  main  army  by  a  circuit.  Start- 
ing as  soon  as  it  was  quite  dark,  he  reached  the  Dnie- 


124  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

per,  which  was  covered  with  a  thin  coating  of  ice 
broken  at  the  edges.  Neither  gnns  or  carriages  could 
be  got  across,  and  in  their  march  they  were  constant- 
ly attacked  by  Cossacks.  They  ultimately  reached 
the  road  which  leads  from  Orsha  to  Vitebsk  at  mid- 
night on  November  21,  and  here  they  met  some  of 
Eugene's  troops.  Ney  was  saved,  but  only 
brought  with  him  to  tlie  end  nine  hundred  men  out 
of  the  six  thousand  with  which  he  set  out. 

Napoleon  arrived  at  Orsha  on  November  19,  and 
found  considerable  magazines  from  which  it  was  pos- 
sible to  supply  both  food  and  ammunition.  The  vehi- 
cles and  baggage  waggons  were  destroyed  and  the 
horses  set  free  for  the  service  of  the  artillery.  The 
Emperor  even  destroyed  his  own  papers,  and  by  error 
of  judgment  the  pontoon  train  was  also  abandoned, 
which  might  have  been  useful  at  the  Berezina.  The 
Russians  were  concentrating  to  dispute  the  passage 
of  the  Berezina  at  Borisov.  The  army  of  Finland, 
commanded  by  Wittgenstein,  had  defeated  the  corps 
of  Oudinot  on  October  19,  and  was  pressing  the 
French  marshal  towards  that  river.  Towards  the 
south  the  army  of  Chichagov  passed  in  front  of  the 
army  of  Schwarzenberg,  who  made  no  attempt  to 
stop  it,  and  marched  up  the  Berezina  by  the  right 
bank,  whilst  Wittgenstein  was  passing  down  the 
river  by  the  left.  Tlius  the  small  remnant  of  in- 
vaders who  had  escaped  from  Moscow  had  to  deal 
with  three  armies,  those  of  Kutusov,  Chichagov  and 
Wittgenstein.  Kutusov  for  some  reason  lingered  be- 
hind at  the  bridge  of  Orsha. 

On  November  23  Napoleon  placed  his  headquar- 
ters at  Bobr,  rather  more  than  half-way  between 
Orsha  and  Borisov;  here  he  learned  that  Oudinot 
had   driven   the   Russians   from   Borisov,   but   had 


THE  BEREZINA.  125 

failed  to  seize  the  bridge.  He  knew,  therefore,  that 
Berezina  must  be  bridged  afresh,  and  sent  forward 
Eble  the  engineer  for  the  purpose.  A  suitable  place 
for  crossing  had  been  found  at  Studianka,  about  ten 
miles  above  Borisov,  and  the  construction  of  the 
bridges  began  in  the  early  morning  of  November  26. 
It  had  been  originally  intended  to  make  three  bridges, 
but  it  was  found  that  the  material  available  was  only 
sufficient  for  two.  These  were  built  about  two  hun- 
dred yards  from  each  other,  the  lower  bridge  being  in- 
tended for  infantry  and  cavalry,  the  upper  bridge, 
which  was  of  a  moi-e  solid  description,  for  artillery 
and  vehicles.  The  sappers  had  to  work  up  to  their 
shoulders  in  the  ic}^  water,  and  few  of  them  sur- 
vived the  ordeal.  General  Eble,  although  he  was 
advanced  in  years,  never  quitted  the  spot  day  or 
night  till  the  passage  was  complete.  If  the  pontoon 
train  had  not  been  destroyed  at  Orsha  thebridge  could 
have  been  laid  much  more  quickly  and  with  much  less 
expenditure  of  life. 

The  lower  bridge  was  finished  by  midday,  and  ^'d- 
poleon  immediately  sent  Oudinot's  corps  across, 
which  was  seven  thousand  strong.  The  Russians 
whom  he  found  on  the  opposite  bank  he  drove  back  to 
Borisov.  The  second  bridge  was  not  completed  till 
four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  when  it  was  already 
dusk.  The  artillery  of  the  second  corps  and  the 
guard  were  sent  across  at  once,  and  the  troops  under 
ISTey's  command  traversed  the  river  during  the  night. 
Thus  on  the  morning  of  ISTovember  27  a  body  of 
eleven  thousand  troops  was  established  on  the  right 
bank.  In  the  course  of  that  day  the  remainder  of 
the  French  army  reached  Studianka,  and  Napoleon 
in  person,  followed  by  his  guard,  crossed  about  mid- 
day.    He  had  personally  superintended  the  construe- 


126  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

tion  of  the  bridges,  assisted  by  Miirat  and  Berthier. 
It  was  fortunate  that  during  this  time  Chichagov 
had  been  absent  from  Russia  bv  the  orders  of  Kutu- 
sov,  and  that  he  did  not  return  until  the  bridges  were 
comj^leted  and  the  bulk  of  the  army  had  crossed. 

Wittgenstein  reached  Borisov  on  the  left  bank  on 
the  evening  of  I^ovember  27.  He  repaired  the 
bridge  across  the  river  and  opened  communications 
with  Chichagov,  the  result  of  which  was  the  French 
were  to  be  attacked  on  the  following  morning  on  both 
sides  of  the  stream.  On  the  right  bank  the  fighting 
began  early  in  the  morning  and  continued  during  the 
whole  day  without  the  Russians  making  any  impres- 
sion on  the  French,  who  were  far  inferior  in  number 
to  their  enemies.  The  engagement  on  the  left  bank 
was  similar  in  character,  Marshal  Victor  not  having 
more  than  five  thousand  men,  chiefly  Germans,  un- 
der his  command.  The  Russians  attacked  at  10 
A.M.^  and  tried  to  cut  off  Victor  from  the  bridges. 
At  the  first  sound  of  the  cannon  the  non-combatants 
thronged  towards  the  river,  forming  a  confused  mass 
of  men,  horses  and  vehicles,  extending  a  thousand 
yards  along  the  river  bank  and  two  hundred  yards 
deep.  The  Russians  now  turned  their  guns  upon 
the  huddled  throng,  and  a  panic  naturally  ensued. 
Many  were  pushed  into  the  river  and  drowned.  The 
space  in  front  of  the  bridges  was  covered  by  a  thick 
mass  of  broken  carriages  and  heaped  bodies  of  men 
and  horses  through  which  the  engineers  had  eventu- 
ally to  make  a  regular  cutting. 

Victor  held  his  ground  with  heroic  tenacity,  the 
Russians  being  three  times  his  number.  At  9  p.m. 
he  received  orders  to  retire,  but  he  did  not  succeed 
in  effecting  his  crossing  till  after  midnight.  On 
the  following  morning  the  bridges  were  set  on  fire, 


THE  BEREZINA.  127 

leaving  of  course  many  to  perish.  Some  tried  to 
rush  through  the  fire,  others  to  cross  over  the  ice 
which  broke  under  their  weight,  and  others  to  swim 
or  wade  across  the  icy  stream.  It  is  not  known  how 
many  died,  but  thousands  of  non-combatants  were 
made  prisoners.  Very  few  guns,  however,  and  no 
soldiers  were  captured. 


128  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XXL 


THE    CLOSE. 


It  is  not  known  how  many  of  Xapoleon^s  troops 
were  lost  at  the  Berezina,  but  the  army  which  be- 
fore the  passage  was  numbered  by  a  competent  au- 
thority at  thirty-one  thousand,  was  estimated  at  nine 
thousand  after  it.  On  December  3  the  cold  became 
intense,  and  continued  so  until  the  last  French  sol- 
diers had  quitted  Russian  soil.  The  thermometer  is 
said  to  have  fallen  as  low  as  35  degrees  below  the  zero 
of  Fahrenheit,  and  it  seldom  or  never  rose  above  zero. 
The  destrnction  of  life  became  terribly  rapid.  In 
two  days  the  division  of  Loison  which  marched  out 
of  Vilna  to  meet  the  remains  of  the  Grand  Army 
was  reduced  by  the  effect  of  cold  from  ten  thousand 
men  to  three  thousand.  Xey  performed  prodigies 
of  valour  with  the  rear-guard,  although  it  was  reduced 
to  only  a  few  hundred  men.  At  Molodetschno  there 
was  a  serious  encounter  with  the  Russians  on  Decem- 
ber 4,  the  cold  being  intense.  On  the  following  day 
Xapoleon  arriving  at  Smorgoni,  determined  to  leave 
the  army  and  to  hasten  to  Paris  in  order  to  mitigate 
the  consequences  of  his  defeat,  and  to  provide  means 
of  saving  the  remnants  of  his  army.  This  action, 
which  had  been  stigmatised  as  cowardly  and  heartless, 
was  in  reality  both  wise  and  courageous.  He  could 
do  nothing  more  by  remaining  with  his  soldiers;  he 
was  a  sovereign  as  well  as  a  general,  and  his  presence 
at  the  seat  of  government  was  indispensable.  He  took 


THE  CLOSE.  129 

with  him  only  Caulaincoiirt  (the  brother  of  the  dip- 
lomatist who  had  been  killed  at  Borodino),  Duroc 
and  Mouton,  and  had  only  a  handful  of  horsemen 
as  an  escort;  indeed,  he  narrowly  escaped  being 
taken  prisoner.  He  reached  Warsaw  on  December 
10,  and  Dresden  a  few  days  later,  where  the  sledge  in 
which  he  travelled  is  still  preserved.  He  crossed  the 
Rhine  at  Mainz  with  considerable  difficulty,  and  at 
eleven  o'clock  at  night  on  December  ]  8  entered  the 
Tuilleries.  He  was  at  first  refused  admission,  as 
he  was  not  recognised.  Suddenly  two  men  in  fur 
clothing  burst  into  the  room  of  the  lady-in-waiting. 
One  made  for  the  Emperor's  door ;  the  lady  attempt- 
ed to  stop  him  and  uttered  a  cry  which  awoke  the 
Empress.  She  opened  the  door,  recognised  her  hus- 
band and  rushed  into  his  arms. 

Although  the  departure  of  iSTapoleon  was  abso- 
lutely necessary,  it  reduced  the  soldiers  to  despair. 
Murat,  as  of  royal  rank,  was  left  in  command,  but  he 
had  no  other  orders  except  to  maintain  his  ground 
between  the  Niemen  and  the  Vistula  and  to  wait  for 
l^apoleon's  return.  On  December  9  a  few  thousands 
of  tattered  stragglers  reached  Vilna.  The  maga- 
zines were  pillaged,  and  the  Cossacks  soon  made  their 
appearance.  Those  who  did  not  escape  quickly 
enough  were  killed  by  them  and  by  the  peasants.  It 
is  supposed  that  from  fifteen  thousand  to  twenty 
thousand  w^ere  left  behind  in  the  town.  A  body  of 
only  four  thousand  three  hundred  resumed  the  march 
to  Kowno.  Xey  recrossed  the  Xiemen  almost  alone 
on  December  13.  About  eighteen  thousand  men 
were  eventually  able  to  reach  Konigsberg,  which  be- 
fore long  became  hostile  to  them.  Murat  returned 
to  his  kingdom  of  Naples  in  January,  1813. 

Military  history  contains  nothing  comparable  to 
,9. 


130        .  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  catastrophe  of  this  campaign,  and  it  is  difficult 
to  estimate  its  extent.  Of  the  630,058  troops  which 
entered  Russia,  none  returned  in  fighting  order  ex- 
cept the  two  wings  of  Macdonakl  and  Schwarzen- 
berg,  numbering  about  ten  thousand.  From  the 
main  army  escaped  about  eighteen  thousand  or  more, 
entirely  disorganised  and  consisting  largely  of 
officers.  These  were  of  great  use  in  consolidating 
Kapoleon's  levies  for  the  campaign  of  1813.  Thus 
about  a  million  human  beings  had  disappeared ;  how 
many  of  them  were  made  prisoners  and  how  many 
died  it  is  impossible  to  say.  The  Russian  loss  in 
dead  is  placed  at  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand. 
It  is  usless  to  discuss  the  cause  of  this  disaster.  We 
have  seen  that  on  several  occasions  the  French  army 
narrowly  escaped  destruction,  as  aSTapoleon  himself 
narrowly  escaped  capture.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
winter  was  abnormally  severe,  and  with  better  for- 
tune the  loss  might  have  been  less  disastrous.  But 
the  enterprise  could  never  have  succeeded  unless 
Alexander  could  have  been  persuaded  to  give  in. 
Napoleon  attempted  the  impossible  and  failed.  The 
only  chance  of  his  realising  his  desires  would  have 
lain  in  the  limitation  of  their  scope. 


PART  FIVE. 

THE  WAR  OF  1813. 


CHAPTER  XXII. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  L.UTZEN. 


During  the  winter  of  1812  Xapoleon  worked  with 
as  great  energy  as  he  had  ever  shown  during  any 
portion  of  his  career.  He  possessed  sufficient  re- 
sources in  men  and  in  monev  to  defend  France,  even 
up  to  the  frontiers  of  the  Rhine.  But  that  did  not 
satisfy  him.  His  pride,  or  perhaps  wiser  con- 
siderations of  policy,  forbade  him  to  surrender  any 
portion  of  the  dominions  which  had  been  declared  to 
be  integral  portions  of  the  Empire  by  decrees  of  the 
Senate.  He  answered  to  Francis  I.,  who  urged  him 
to  make  peace,  that  he  considered  Rome,  Piedmont, 
Tuscany,  Holland,  and  the  Hanseatic  Departments 
inseparable  from  the  Empire.  Rome  and  Hamburg 
must  remain  French  Prefectures.  In  order  to  fulfil 
the  arduous  task  of  defending  this  enormous  territory 
against  a  hostile  Europe,  he  had  to  drain  the  re- 
sources of  his  Empire  even  to  exhaustion,  and  to  de- 
pend upon  allies  whose  fidelity  was  more  than  doubt- 
ful. 

He  had  in  his  depots  the  conscripts  of  1813  who 
had  been  summoned  to  arms  in  October,  1812,  and  in 
the  departments  what  were  called  the  cohorts,  that 

131 


132  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

is,  a  hundred  well-drilled  battalions  of  national 
guards.  He  doubled  these  battalions;  he  called  up 
conscripts  from  classes  which  had  been  hitherto 
spared,  going  as  far  back  as  the  year  1809.  The 
Senate  voted  the  raising  of  one  hundred  and  forty 
thousand  men  from  the  conscription  of  1814,  and  he 
withdrew  his  depots  from  Spain.  The  officers  who 
straggled  back  from  the  defeat  of  Moscow  were  found 
extremely  useful  in  training  and  instructing  the 
new  recruits  and  in  inspiring  them  with  the  tradi- 
tions of  the  Imj)erial  army. 

These  measures  provided  him  with  a  force  very 
similar  in  its  comjDosition  to  the  armies  of  the 
Revolution,  but  very  different  in  its  spirit.  It  was 
undoubtedly  courageous,  and  was  devoted  to  the 
person  of  Xapoleon,  but  it  was  drawn  from  a  country 
desolated  by  continual  wars  and  weary  of  exertion. 
It  had  no  power  of  keeping  itself  together  or  of  re- 
forming itself  after  a  check.  It  was  easily  dis- 
couraged and  difficult  to  reanimate  anew:  it  had  none 
of  that  political  fervour  which  distinguished  the 
conquering  hosts  of  1793. 

The  French  army  was  also  lacking  in  material  re- 
sources. It  was  possible  to  furnish  artillery  to  supply 
what  had  been  lost  in  Russia  ;  but  it  was  not  easy  to 
procure  sufficient  horses  to  mount  a  j^owerful  cavalry, 
and  the  inferiority  of  that  arm  was  felt  during  the 
whole  campaign.  After  three  months  of  incredible 
labour  K^apoleonwas  able  to  despatch  across  the  Rhine 
an  army  of  two  hundred  thousand  men,  of  whom 
however,  only  twentv-four  thousand  were  cavalrv. 
During  the  course  of  the  summer  these  numbers  were 
increased  to  three  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  men, 
of  whom  sixty  thousand  were  cavalry,  while  the 
artillerv  numbered  six  hundred. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LUTZEN.         133 

This  army  was  strong  enough  to  resist  the  first 
efforts  of  the  Coalition,  which  at  present  compre- 
hended only  Russia  and  Prussia.  Russia,  exhausted 
by  the  last  campaign,  was  only  able  to  send  one  hun- 
dred thousand  men  across  the  Vistula.  Bernadotte, 
who  had  been  elected  Crown  Prince  of  Sweden  with 
the  consent  of  I^apoleon,  now  deserted  his  former 
master  and  joined  Russia  against  him ;  but  he  did 
not  take  any  share  in  the  early  part  of  the  campaign. 
Prussia  was  in  a  condition  to  furnish  a  large  number 
of  troops,  thanks  to  the  admirable  policy  which  she 
had  adopted  since  1808,  and  to  the  wisdom  and  skill 
with  which  she  had  turned  to  her  own  advantage 
the  harsh  restrictions  which  were  designed  for  her 
destruction.  Her  population  were  inflamed  by  such 
a  patriotic  zeal  that  nearly  the  whole  of  her  able- 
bodied  inhabitants  served  either  among  the 
volunteers  or  in  the  reserve.  Austria,  although 
ostensibly  arming,  held  herself  aloof,  and  waited  to 
see  in  what  direction  the  fortune  of  war  would  de- 
clare itself.  Thus,  regarded  as  mere  numbers,  the 
enemies  of  Napoleon  were  not  more  formidable  in 
the  spring  of  1813  than  those  whom  he  had  previous- 
ly vanquished.  But  his  task  was  rendered  especially 
difficult  by  the  passionate  enthusiasm  of  the  Ger- 
mans, by  the  general  murmurs  of  revolt  which  ex- 
tended from  the  Rhine  to  the  Elbe,  and  by  the  in- 
experience of  the  French  army,  which  had  been 
hastily  organised  to  support  a  cause  in  which  they 
could  feel  but  little  interest. 

The  Russian  campaign  had  lost  Napoleon  the  half 
of  Germany.  Prince  Eugene  had  been  driven  back 
from  point  to  point  until  he  reached  the  confluence  of 
the  Saale  and  the  Elbe.  The  Emperor  had  promised 
his  stepson  that  as  soon  as  he  had  organised  some  new 


134  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

legiments  he  would  send  sufficient  reinforcements  to 
maintain  him  on  the  Saale.  In  the  month  of  April 
Prince  Eugene  occupied  on  that  river  some  good  de- 
fensive positions  at  the  head  of  sixty  thousand  men. 

The  advance  of  the  allies  had  begun  at  the  end  of 
March.  Bliicher  came  from  Silesia  with  twenty- five 
thousand  men  and  crossed  the  Elbe  on  April  3,  pre- 
ceded by  Winzingerode  with  an  advance  guard  of 
thirteen  thousand  men.  Wittgenstein,  Yorck  and 
Borstedt  commanded  twenty-five  thousand  men  before 
Magdeburg,  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  that  fortress 
were  some  Russian  divisions,  six  thousand  or  seven 
thousand  strong.  The  principal  Russian  army  was 
posted  at  Ivalisch  and  on  the  Silesian  frontier.  The 
fortresses  of  Danzig,  Thorn,  Stettin,  Glogau,  and 
Spandau  were  either  besieged  or  blockaded.  The 
allies  had  about  seventy  thousand  soldiers  on  the 
Elbe,  but  the  French  possessed  on  that  river  the  im- 
portant fortresses  of  Magdeburg  and  Wittenberg,  the 
first  occupied  by  a  garrison  of  about  fifty  thousand 
French  troo23s. 

Napoleon,  leaving  Paris  on  April  15,  spent  a  few 
days  at  Mainz  for  the  purpose  of  organising  his 
forces.  He  proceeded  in  a  carriage  to  Weimar, 
which  he  reached  on  April  28,  and  then  mounted  his 
horse.  His  forces  amounted  to  one  hundred  and 
fifty  thousand  infantry,  eight  thousand  cavalry  and 
three  hundred  and  fifty  guns,  the  allies  being  su- 
perior to  him  in  cavalry  and  artillery.  The  Russian 
forces  may  be  reckoned  at  fifty  thousand,  the  Prus- 
sian at  forty-six  thousand.  They  were  both  older 
and  better  seasoned  than  the  French ;  indeed,  many 
of  the  French  soldiers  were  mere  boys.  I*[apoleon  had 
taken  great  pains  to  exercise  them  in  forming  squares 
to  resist  the  numerous  cavalry  of  the  enemy.       He 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LUTZEN.  135 

doubted  their  powers  of  endurance,  but  'Nej  wrote 
to  him  after  the  first  engagement,  "  These  children 
are  heroes ;  with  them  I  can  carry  out  anything  that 
you  may  command." 

Napoleon  divided  his  army  into  four  corps;  the 
three  first  were  commanded  by  Xey,  Marmont,  and 
Bertrand,  the  Guard  formed  the  fourth.  The  design 
of  Napoleon  was  to  recapture  Dresden  and  the  line  of 
the  Elbe.  For  this  purpose  he  descended  the  course 
of  the  Saale  while  Eugene  marched  up  the  stream  to 
meet  him.  When  the  junction  of  their  forces  was 
once  effected,  they  would  cross  the  river  together,  seize 
Leipzig,  and  from  that  point  fall  on  the  right  flank  of 
the  allies.  Ney  crossed  the  Saale  on  April  29  and 
advanced  on  the  road  to  Liitzen.  The  youthful  con- 
scripts, whom  Ney  commanded,  came  into  conflict 
with  the  Russian  cavalry,  formed  into  squares,  and 
having  received  the  enemy  bravely  at  the  point  of  their 
bayonets,  attacked  them  at  the  charge  and  captured 
Weissenfels.  The  advance  was  then  continued  to- 
wards Liitzen,  which  lies  on  the  main  road  between 
Weissenfels  and  Leipzig. 

The  battle  of  Liitzen,  the  first  of  the  campaign, 
was  remarkable  for  the  confusion  which  prevailed 
in  it,  the  bravery  displayed  by  the  armies  engaged, 
and  the  manner  in  which  Napoleon  gained  the 
victory.  The  allies  were  far  superior  in  cavalry, 
but  they  were  badly  handled  and  remained  for  a  con- 
siderable time  doing  nothing  at  Rahna,  when  they 
might  have  decided  the  fate  of  the  conflict.  It  was 
long  before  Napoleon  could  discover  where  the  main 
body  of  the  enemy  lay,  because  his  feeble  force  of 
cavalry  had  to  be  kept  in  hand,  and  could  not  be  used 
for  reconnoitring.  But  when  he  had  learnt  what  he 
desired  to  know,  by  the  sound  of  the  cannon,  and  had 


136  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

come  to  a  conclusion  as  to  where  the  decisive  blow 
should  be  struck,  lie  wheeled  his  forces  round  and  at- 
tacked the  enemy  with  such  energy  that  he  compelled 
them  to  retreat. 

The  battle  of  Liitzen  was  indeed  the  result  of  an 
accident.  Napoleon  had  reached  Leipzig  on  May  21, 
after  having  on  the  previous  day  had  a  successful 
skirmish  with  the  enemy  at  Kippach,  where  Marshal 
Bessieres  met  his  death,  and  having  left  Ney  at 
Liitzen  to  protect  his  right  flank,  Napoleon  had  little 
difficulty  in  seizing  Leipzig;  but  whilst  he  was  en- 
gaged in  the  capture  of  that  city,  the  battle  of  Liitzen 
was  being  fought  in  his  rear.  As  Napoleon  sup- 
posed, the  allies  to  the  number  of  eighty  thousand 
were  marching  from  the  Elster  to  the  upper  waters  of 
the  Saale,  on  the  right  flank  of  the  French  army, 
when  the  sight  of  Ney's  columns  advancing  upon 
Leipzig  suggested  the  idea  of  a  sudden  attack.  The 
two  sovereigns,  who  were  present  in  person,  deter- 
mined to  risk  a  battle,  and  the  allies  wheeling  round 
to  the  right  charged  the  troops  before  them,  imagin- 
ing them  to  be  much  weaker  than  they  really  were. 

The  French  occupied  in  front  of  Liitzen  five 
villages  which  formed  strong  points  of  defence. 
These  were  Gross-Gorschen,  Rahna,  Klein- 
Gorschen,  Starsiedel,  and  Kaja.  The  first  of  these 
was  much  exposed;  it  was  violently  attacked  by  the 
Prussians  under  Bliicher  and  captured.  The  allies 
then  advanced  against  the  villages  which  formed  the 
second  line.  Starsiedel  was  defended  by  the  corps  of 
Marmont,  who  arrived  just  in  time  and  repulsed  the 
enemy,  but  the  French  were  driven  from  Rahna  and 
Klein-Gorschen.  Ney  was  at  this  moment  with  the 
Emperor  and  Souham  had  been  left  in  command,  but 
Ney  soon  arrived  to  take  charge  of  his  divisions  and 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LUTZEN.         137 

the  villages    were    again    recovered  after  a  severe 
struggle. 

]N^apoleon  heard  the  thunder  of  the  cannonade 
about  midday  and  immediately  hurried  up,  knowing 
that  the  Russians  and  Prussians  must  have  joined 
their  forces.  He  gave  orders  that  Macdonald  should 
advance  on  the  left,  Bertraud  on  the  right,  while  he 
occupied  the  centre  with  his  guard.  There  was  con- 
siderable danger  in  the  centre  before  the  guard  ar- 
rived on  the  field,  as  ITapoleon  could  only  oppose  to 
the  main  body  of  the  allies  the  young  levies  of  I^^ey's 
corps  who  were  already  exhausted  by  their  labours. 
Bllicher  was  therefore  able  to  retake  Rahna,  the  last 
post  of  the  French  in  front  of  Liitzen.  The  battle 
continued  with  uncertain  fortune  till  six  o'clock  in 
the  evening.  Wherever  IS^apoleon  appeared  he 
stimulated  his  soldiers  to  new  efforts.  At  last  six- 
teen battalions  of  the  young  guard  were  in  a  position 
to  attack  under  the  command  of  Lobau,  while  Drouot 
collected  sixty  pieces  of  artillery  and  opened  a 
murderous  fire  between  Kaja  and  Starsiedel. 
Eugene  also  captured  the  villages  opposed  to  him. 
Wittgenstein  advanced  with  the  Russian  guard  and 
the  grenadiers,  not  for  a  new  onslaught  but  to  cover 
the  retreat.  The  daylight  was  at  an  end,  and  the 
close  of  evening  terminated  the  conflict.  The 
French  were  then  surrounding  the  allies  in  a  half 
circle.  Bllicher  made  one  more  desperate  attempt, 
to  reach  Kaja,  but  he  found  it  protected  by  the  guard 
and  by  a  formidable  artillery  and  was  forced  to  re- 
tire. The  allies  retreated,  much  to  the  disgust  of 
Bllicher,  and  we  may  imagine  also  to  the  disappoint- 
ment of  Napoleon  himself,  as  he  had  lost  an  op- 
portunity of  crushing  the  allied  army  in  a  pitched 
battle,  and  he  had  no  cavalry  with  which  to  continue 


138  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  pursuit.  Thirty-five  thousand  killed  and 
wounded  covered  the  field,  Bllicher  was  wounded  in 
the  arm,  and  at  the  close  of  the  fight  l^apoleon  him- 
self disappeared  in  the  confusion  for  a  few  minutes, 
some  thinking  that  he  had  been  killed.  The  French 
troops  were  obliged  to  remain  the  whole  night  through 
in  their  squares  for  fear  of  being  attacked.  Both 
sides  claimed  the  victory. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  BAUTZEN.  I39 


CHAPTER  XXIII. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  BAUTZEISr. 


After  the  battle  of  Liitzen  the  allied  armies 
marched  towards  Dresden,  followed  by  Xapoleon  at 
the  head  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  troops. 
The  Emperor  now  despatched  Xev  to  Torgau  with  the 
idea  that  he  should  eventually  march  on  Berlin. 
The  allies  crossed  the  Elbe  and  took  up  a  position 
in  the  Xew  Town  of  Dresden,  on  the  right  bank  of 
the  river,  whilst  Xapoleon  entered  the  Old  Town. 
The  keys  of  the  city  were  presented  to  the  conqueror, 
but  he  declared  that  he  onlv  received  them  as  a 
deposit  for  their  King.  In  a  few  days  King  Ered- 
erick  Augustus,  who  had  fled  to  Prague,  returned 
to  his  capital  and  was  received  by  Xapoleon  with 
signs  of  exuberant  affection.  Xapoleon  took  up 
his  abode  in  the  Marcolini  Palace  just  outside  the 
town,  and  the  rooms  which  he  occupied  existed  un- 
changed a  few  years  ago.  It  may  be  remarked  that 
Xapoleon  almost  from  the  outset  of  his  career  pre- 
ferred to  live  outside  of  the  towns  which  he  had  con- 
quered, and  he  generally  chose  rooms  on  the 
ground  floor  looking  into  a  garden.  This  may  be 
attributed  to  his  love  of  nature  and  the  necessity  of 
quiet,  but  it  is  more  likely  that  he  derived  the  habit 
from  his  Corsican  days.  Accustomed  from  his  youth 
to  treachery  and  deeds  of  violence,  he  naturally 
feared  assassination,  and  therefore  hesitated  to  trust 
himself  in  a  town,  where  he  could  be  captured  or  per- 


140  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

haps  killed  in  a  popular  rising,  and  preferred  a  spot 
which  could  be  easily  defended  and  from  which  there 
was  a  ready  escape. 

The  whole  of  the  German  Elbe  was  now  in  the 
hands  of  Napoleon,  with  the  exception  of  its  lower 
waters.  He  despatched  Davout  to  these  regions  to 
regain  possession  of  Hamburg,  while  the  Grand 
Army  established  itself  firmly  in  Saxony.  He  also 
gav^e  orders  to  Murat  to  leaye  his  kingdom  of  Naples 
in  order  to  take  command  of  the  cavalry,  and  he  sent 
Prince  Eugene  to  Italy  to  levy  an  army  and  to  form 
a  barrier  against  a  possible  invasion  of  that  country 
by  Austria.  After  a  week's  sojourn  he  quitted  Dres- 
den to  deal,  if  possible,  a  fresh  blow  upon  the  allies. 

The  armies  of  Wittgenstein  and  Bliicher,  defeated 
but  not  destroyed,  instead  of  covering  Berlin,  re- 
treated along  the  Austrian  frontier  through  Lusatia, 
thinking  it  more  important  to  secure  the  co-operation 
of  the  Austrians  than  to  protect  the  Prussian  capital 
against  a  sudden  attack.  They  took  up  a  position 
at  Bautzen,  near  Hochkirch,  which  had  witnessed 
the  defeat  of  Frederick  the  Great  by  Marshal  Daun. 
They  strengthened  their  ground  with  trenches  well 
furnished  with  cannon,  and  awaited  the  attack  of 
Napoleon  with  one  hundred  thousand  men. 

Napoleon  sent  against  Bautzen  the  four  corps  of 
Macdonald,  Bertrand,  Oudinot,  and  Marmont.  He 
ordered  Ney,  who  had  arrived  at  Torgau,  to  return 
with  sixty  thousand  men  and  threaten  the  right  of 
the  allies.  The  battle-field  of  Bautzen  extended 
about  fifteen  miles,  and  was  much  too  large  for  the 
number  of  the  troops  employed.  The  Emperor  of 
llussia  had  his  headquarters  in  Neu-Burschwiz,  the 
King  of  Prussia  was  in  Wurschen,  and  Napoleon  in 
Klein  Eorstgen.     At  midday  on  May  20,  1813,  Na- 


THE  BATTLE  OF  BAUTZEN.        141 

poleon,  after  reconnoitring  the  position  of  the 
enemy,  gave  orders  for  the  attack,  and  by  five  in  the 
afternoon  the  battle  became  general.  The  River 
Spree,  which  passes  through  Bautzen,  formed  the 
first  line  of  the  defence  of  the  allies,  who  had  their 
left  supported  by  the  mountains  of  Bohemia.  Be- 
hind the  Spree,  the  parallel  stream  of  Bloser-Wasser 
formed  a  second  line  to  the  centre  and  the  left,  while 
the  right  was  defended  by  a  rising  ground  between 
the  Bloser-Wasser  and  the  Spree.  In  the  judgment 
of  Kapoleon  the  capture  of  these  two  lines  of  de- 
fence would  require  two  battles,  and  he  determined 
to  devote  the  first  day  to  the  capture  of  the  line  of  the 
Spree.  The  fortified  to-^^m  of  Bautzen  was  directly 
in  front  of  him;  the  Russians  on  his  right,  and  the 
Prussians,  commanded  by  Bllichcr,  on  his  left. 

The  Emperor  sent  Oudinot  against  the  Russians. 
The  marshal  crossed  the  river  and  obtained  posses- 
sion of  the  commanding  heights  of  the  Drohnberg. 
In  the  centre  the  walls  of  Bautzen  resisted  for  some 
time,  but  the  bridge  across  the  Spree  was  at  length 
occupied,  the  defences  forced,  and  the  French 
hastened  from  all  sides  into  the  town.  On  the  left 
Marmont  and  Bertrand  similarly  crossed  the  Spree, 
and  drove  Bliicher  back  to  the  hills  on  which  his  line 
rested.  By  nine  o'clock  in  the  evening  the  whole 
line  of  the  river  was  taken  and  I^apoleon  removed 
his  headquarters  to  Bautzen.  ]^ey,  in  the  meantime, 
had  arrived  at  the  position  appointed  to  him  and  was 
ready  to  take  part  in  the  battle  of  the  succeeding 
day.  ISTapoleon  gave  him  orders  to  move  in  such  a 
manner  that  he  would  fall  upon  the  rear  of  the  allied 
army  whilst  he  himself  attacked  them  in  front. 
This  would  drive  them  towards  the  frontiers  of  Bo- 
hemia, and  compel  them  either  to  capitulate  or  to 


142  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

take  refuge  in  the  territory  of  Austria  which  was  at 
this  time  in  alliance  with  Napoleon. 

On  the  following  day,  May  21,  1813,  Kapoleon 
delayed  the  attack  until  he  was  certain  that  the  move- 
ments of  ISTey  were  effected.  The  result  fulfilled  all 
his  expectations.  Ney  advanced  against  the  extreme 
right  of  the  allies,  dispersed  the  troops  with  which 
he  came  into  contact,  and  threatened  the  communica- 
tions of  Bliicher.  Here,  unfortunately,  he  stopped, 
and  did  not  carry  out  his  master's  orders  by  march- 
ing upon  ITochkirch.  He  was  separated  from  Na- 
poleon by  an  interval  of  nine  miles,  and  did  not  know 
how  the  battle  was  progressing  in  that  quarter. 
Bliicher,  seeing  the  danger  which  threatened  him, 
communicated  with  Wittgenstein  and  commenced  a 
retreat.  Napoleon  on  his  side  had  pushed  Bertrand 
and  Oudinot  across  the  stream  of  the  Bloser-Wasser 
and  had  taken  the  village  of  Baschutz.  The  allies 
retreated  to  Gorlitz  in  Silesia,  having  lost  fifteen 
thousand  men ;  and  but  for  the  hesitation  of  Ney, 
who  showed  a  similar  weakness  at  Waterloo,  they 
would  have  been  annihilated.  As  at  Liitzen,  Na- 
poleon was  unable  to  follow  up  his  advantages  with 
cavalry,  and  as  at  Liitzen  the  battle  was  not  alto- 
gether decisive,  although  it  may  be  fairly  regarded  as 
a  defeat  for  the  allies. 

Napoleon  followed  the  retreating  Russians  and 
Prussians  into  Silesia,  gradually  driving  them  be- 
fore him.  He  thrust  them  successively  from  Gor- 
litz and  Liegnitz;  he  crossed  the  bridge  of  Glogau, 
and  was  within  one  day's  march  of  Breslau,  the  capi- 
tal of  Silesia.  The  fortunes  of  Napoleon  were  in  the 
ascendant.  Oudinot  received  orders  to  march  with 
twenty-five  thousand  men  on  Berlin,  and  on  May  29 
Davout   entered  Hamburg.    At  this  moment  Austria 


THE  BATTLE  OF  BAUTZEN.  143 

interposed  with  the  offer  of  an  armistice  which  was 
eventually  signed  on  June  14,  1813,  bearing  the  name 
of  the  Armistice  of  Pleiswitz.  Most  writers  are  agreed 
that  it  was  against  the  interests  of  Napoleon  to  ac- 
cept it,  and  that  the  delay  was  in  every  respect  favour- 
able to  the  allies.  He  was  imposed  upon  by  the 
astute  policy  of  Metternich,  and  should  never  have 
consented  to  it  unless  he  had  intended  that  it  should 
be  the  preliminary  of  a  peace.  The  allies  were  able 
to  utilise  the  breathing-space  given  to  them  far  better 
than  he  was,  for  they  were  less  well  prepared,  where- 
as !N"apoleon  had  exhausted  all  the  available  resources 
of  his  country.  By  this  armistice  the  success  of 
Liitzen  and  Bautzen  seemed  to  be  annulled.  The 
line  of  demarcation  between  the  two  armies  was  fixed 
first  by  the  Katzbach,  then  by  the  Oder,  then  by  the 
old  frontiers  of  Saxony  and  Prussia,  and  onward  by 
the  Elbe  from  Wittenberg  to  the  sea. 


144  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  DRESDEN. 


Napoleon  had  reallj  no  idea  of  making  peace. 
Trom  his  headquarters  in  Dresden  he  superintended 
the  arming  of  his  dominions.  Eugene  was  to  form 
a  large  army  in  Italy  to  threaten  the  Austrians  if 
they  should  join  the  Coalition.  He  hoped  by  the  be- 
ginning of  September  to  be  at  the  head  of  five  hun- 
dred thousand  men  and  one  thousand  cannon.  He 
possessed  upon  the  Elbe  the  strong  places  of  Konig- 
stein,  Dresden,  Torgau,  Wittenberg,  Magdeburg, 
Verden  and  Hamburg.  He  was  secure  against  an 
attack  either  from  Silesia  or  from  Bohemia.  To  the 
Grand  Army  were  added  the  corps  of  Victor,  Van- 
damme  and  Gouvion  de  St.  Cyr,  as  well  as  the  Poles 
of  Poniatowski,  who  joined  him  in  Dresden,  and 
the  corps  of  Augereau,  whom  he  had  left  in  Bavaria. 
He  had  under  his  command  at  the  expiration  of  the 
armistice  on  August  16  not  less  than  three  hundred 
and  fifty-six  thousand  men. 

His  plan  was  to  send  a  large  force  against  Berlin 
under  Oudinot,  who  was  to  be  supported  by  Davout 
advancing  from  Hamburg.  The  corps  of  Gouvion 
de  St.  Cyr  and  of  Vandamme  were  to  guard  the  ap- 
proaches from  Bohemia,  the  first  on  the  left,  the 
second  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Elbe.  Four  divisions 
under  the  conunand  of  ^ej  were  placed  on  the 
Bober,  to  manoeuvre  against  the  allies  in  Silesia. 
Napoleon  was  to  take  up  a  position  with  his  guard  at 


THE  BATTLE  OF  DRESDEN.  1^5 

Bautzen,  in  a  condition  to  succour  either  of  the  Elbe 
armies  or  the  army  of  -STev,  according  as  events 
should  dictate.  He  aimed  at  nothing  less  than  the 
recovery  of  his  former  position  and  the  power  of 
dictating  jjeace  to  Euroj)e  after  gaining  a  brilliant 
victory. 

There  is  scarcely  any  scene  in  history  more 
moving  or  more  picturesque  than  the  interview  which 
took  place  betweeen  Xapoleon  and  Metternich  in  the 
Marcolini  Palace  on  June  26,  1813.  The  memory 
of  it  lived  until  his  death  in  the  mind  of  the  aged 
diplomatist,  and  a  short  time  before  his  decease  he 
conducted  his  son  to  those  same  rooms  in  order  to 
show  him  the  spot  in  which  ISTapoleon  rejected  the 
last  offers  of  safety  and  in  which  he  formed  a  de- 
cision of  fateful  import  both  to  himself  and  to  the 
world. 

When  midnight  struck  on  August  10,  1813,  the 
representatives  of  Prussia  and  Russia  at  Prague  de- 
clared the  armistice  at  an  end,  and  Austria  an- 
nounced that  she  had  joined  the  Coalition.  The 
allies  had  a  formidable  mass  of  troops  at  their  dis- 
posal. In  Bohemia  Schwarzenberg  commanded  an 
army  of  about  two  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  men 
composed  almost  entirely  of  Austrians.  The  army  of 
Silesia,  composed  of  Prussians  and  Russians,  com- 
prised one  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  troops  under 
the  orders  of  Bliicher.  The  army  of  the  ISTorth 
under  Bernadotte,  made  up  of  Prussians,  Russians, 
and  Swedes,  numbered  one  hundred  and  thirty  thou- 
sand. These  three  armies  threatened  the  position  of 
Xapoleon  in  Saxony.  But  the  plan  of  the  Coalition 
was  to  avoid  as  far  as  possible  attacking  I^apoleon 
himself,  whose  presence  with  the  army  they  knew  to 
be  worth  one  hundred  thousand  men,  but  to  confine 
10 


146  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

their  attention  to  his  lieutenants,  and  if  possible  to 
destroy  them  in  detail.  This  was  not  a  very  heroic 
course,  but  it  was  the  best  for  them  under  the  circum- 
stances. Time  was  on  their  side.  As  the  cam- 
paign went  on  the  masses  of  the  allies  must  neces- 
sarily increase,  as  whole  nations  were  engaged  in  the 
struggle,  whereas  the  forces  of  Xapoleon  must 
naturally  diminish.  The  army  of  Xapoleon  con- 
sisted of  fourteen  corps  d'armee,  each  under  an  ex- 
perienced marshal.  They  formed  forty-four  com- 
l^lete  divisions.  The  whole  number  engaged  is 
estimated  at  four  hundred  thousand,  including 
seventy  thousand  cavalry,  an  arm  of  which  the  Em- 
peror stood  so  much  in  need.  Dresden  was  the 
centre  of  his  operations,  and  there  were  his  magazines 
and  depots. 

At  the  outbreak  of  hostilities  Xapoleon  expected 
to  be  attacked  by  the  army  of  Bohemia,  an  event  which 
he  ardently  desired,  and  consequently  advanced  to 
meet  them,  but  finding  no  trace  of  them,  he  turned 
his  attention  to  the  army  of  Silesia,  believing  that  the 
fortifications  of  Pirna  and  Dresden  would  oppose  a 
sufiicient  obstacle  to  Schwarzenberg  to  delav  him 
until  Bliiclier  had  been  satisfactorily  dealt  with. 
The  Emperor  reached  the  Bober  on  August  21,  threw 
bridges  across  the  river,  crossed  the  stream  at  mid- 
day, marched  hastily  forward  and  drove  the  army 
of  Yorck  before  him.  Bliiclier,  knowing  from  the 
manner  of  the  attack  that  he  had  to  do  with  Xapoleon 
in  person,  in  accordance  with  his  instructions,  retired 
behind  the  Katzbach  with  the  loss  of  two  or  three 
thousand  men. 

In  the  evening  a  courier  reached  Xapoleon  from 
Dresden  to  say  that  the  city  was  being  attacked  by 
large  numbers,  and  that  apparently  the  grand  army 


THE  BATTLE  OF  DRESDEN.        14Y 

of  the  allies  was  marching  from  Peterswalde,  with 
the  design  of  capturing  either  Dresden  or  Leipzig. 
The  fact  was  that  the  army  of  Bohemia  had  entered 
Saxony  in  four  columns,  the  Russians  marching 
along  the  road  which  follows  the  Elbe  by  Pirna,  the 
Prussians  by  Teplitz  and  Dippoldswalde,  the  Aus- 
trians,  some  by  Chemnitz  and  some  by  Zwickau. 
They  were  accompanied  by  Moreau,  the  former  sub- 
ordinate, and  Jomini,  the  former  friend  of  Xapoleon. 
The  Emperor  turned  back  to  crush  these  new  foes  and 
hastened  on  with  imheard-of  rapidity,  his  guard 
marching  nearly  sixty  miles  in  three  days.  Na- 
poleon's first  plan  was  to  take  up  a  position  in  Pirna, 
so  as  to  intercept  the  road  from  Peterswalde,  and 
then  to  attack  the  allies  in  the  rear  as  they  approached 
Dresden,  and  enclose  them  between  his  own  army 
and  the  Elbe.  But  the  cry  of  anguish  from  the  cit>' 
was  so  loud  and  bitter  that  he  was  forced  to  sur- 
render this  scheme.  He  gave  way  to  entreaties  and 
determined  to  occupy  Dresden  with  one  hundred 
thousand  men  and  to  meet  the  allies  under  its  walls. 
In  the  meantime  he  gave  orders  to  Macdonald  and 
Lauriston  to  drive  the  Prussians  beyond  the  Kat>5- 
bach. 

After  posting  Vandamme  in  Pirna  with  orders  to 
close  the  road  to  Peterswalde,  Xapoleon  rode  into 
Dresden  at  nine  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  August 
26,  the  allies  having  appeared  on  the  western  heights 
on  the  previous  day.  The  battle  had  already  beg-un ; 
the  Russians  attacked  the  redoubts  on  the  right,  but 
could  not  wrest  them  from  the  French ;  the  Prus- 
sians tried  to  obtain  possession  of  the  Great  Garden, 
so  well  known  to  all  visitors  to  Dresden ;  the  Aus- 
trians  fought  in  the  centre,  but  were  repulsed  by  the 
young  guard.     The  day  ended  as  a  success  for  the 


148  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

French,  who  had  killed  four  thousand  of  the  enemy 
and  had  taken  two  thousand  prisoners.  Napoleon 
was  in  a  very  cheerful  mood  that  evening  at  supper 
in  the  Roval  Palace. 

In  the  afternoon  Napoleon  had  ascended  a  tower 
to  survey  the  ground  and  had  perceived  that  the  posi- 
tion of  the  Austrians  was  divided  into  two  parts  by 
a  deep  ravine,  the  Plauensche  Grund,  through 
which  flows  the  stream  of  the  Weisseritz.  He  saw 
that  if  the  left  half  of  the  Austrians  were  driven 
into  this  ravine,  the  right  would  be  unable  to  assist 
them  and  they  would  be  forced  to  surrender,  and  that 
this  attack  could  be  carried  out  by  Murat  with  his 
numerous  cavalry  supported  by  infantry,  without 
exciting  the  attention  of  the  allies  in  other  parts  of 
the  field.  jSTapoleon  trusted  also  to  drive  the  allies 
from  their  position  and  force  them  to  retreat  along 
the  road  to  Peterswalde,  where  they  would  be  met  by 
Vandarnme  with  a  force  of  forty  thousand  men. 

On  August  27  Napoleon  took  command  in  the 
centre,  Ney  on  the  right,  Murat  and  Victor  on  the 
left.  He  had  a  force  of  one  hundred  and  twenty 
thousand  men,  whereas  the  allies  numbered  two  hun- 
dred thousand,  twenty  thousand  of  which  were  posted 
at  Pirna  under  the  command  of  Prince  Eugen  of 
Wiirtemberg.  The  morning  was  misty  and  rainy; 
the  battle  raged  round  the  Great  Garden  and  the 
village  of  Strehlen.  At  eleven  o'clock  Murat  and 
Victor  began  their  operations  against  the  ravine  of 
Plauen.  The  Austrians  fought  like  heroes,  but  the 
rain  rendered  their  muskets  useless,  and  they  could 
only  use  their  bayonets.  By  two  o'clock  Murat  had 
killed  two  thousand  Austrians  and  taken  twelve  thou- 
sand prisoners.  In  the  centre  Napoleon  himself  di- 
rected the  firing  of  the  artillery,  and  it  is  said  that 


THE  BATTLE  OF  DRESDEN,        149 

one  of  the  shots  discharged  under  his  orders  broke 
the  legs  of  Moreau,  passing  through  the  body  of  his 
horse,  and  caused  his  death.  A  fitting  monument 
of  granite  still  marks  the  place  where  he  fell. 

At  six  o'clock  the  battle  was  over  and  the  allies 
had  suffered  a  crushing  defeat;  they  had  lost  forty 
cannon,  ten  thousand  men  dead  and  wounded  and 
sixteen  thousand  men  taken  prisoners.  The  French 
loss  was  considerably  less.  It  seemed  at  first  as  if 
iSTapoleon  would  make  full  use  of  his  victory.  He 
ordered  an  energetic  pursuit  and  expected  that  Van- 
damme,  posted  on  the  road  to  Peterswalde,  would 
be  able  to  give  a  good  account  of  the  routed  fugitives. 
But  for  some  reason  he  suddenly  gave  up  the  chase 
and  returned  to  Dresden.  It  is  said  that  he  suffered 
from  a  physical  breakdown,  and  that  for  several  days 
was  incapable  of  the  slightest  exertion.  It  is  pos- 
sible that  even  his  iron  frame  refused  any  longer  to 
answer  to  the  demands  which  he  made  upon  it ;  some 
have  even  attributed  his  illness  to  poison,  given  to 
him  when  he  was  taking  his  midday  meal  at  Pirna. 

The  cessation  of  the  pursuit  had  deplorable  con- 
sequences for  the  Trench.  Vandamme,  who  had 
not  been  able  to  stop  the  retreating  armies  on  the 
road  to  Peterswalde,  followed  them  with  what  speed 
he  could.  He  hoped  to  capture  the  allied  monarchs 
and  to  destroy  their  armies.  On  August  29  he  over- 
took them  in  the  valley  of  Kulm,  from  which  he 
could  threaten  Teplitz,  the  central  point  of  the  roads 
necessary  for  their  retreat.  The  allies,  discovering 
that  Vandamme  was  isolated,  determined  to  attack 
him  on  the  following  day.  The  battle  was  contested 
on  both  sides  with  great  vigour,  but  the  superior  forces 
of  the  allies  secured  them  the  victory.  Vandamme 
had  hoped  for  reinforcements,  but  instead  of  this  the 


150  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Prussian  army  of  Kleist,  which  had  crossed  the 
chain  of  the  Erzgebirge,  with  great  difficulty,  attacked 
the  rear  of  the  French  at  Xollendorf  and  enclosed 
them  between  two  fires.  Vandamme  with  heroic 
courage  tried  to  cut  his  way  through,  but  only  a  small 
number  succeeded  in  escaping.  The  French  had 
seven  generals  killed  and  two  wounded,  and  the  whole 
corps  d'armee  was  nearly  annihilated.  Tbey  lost 
eighty-two  guns,  twenty  eagles,  and  two  hundred 
baggage  waggons;  about  ten  thousand  of  them  were 
taken  prisoners,  amongst  whom  was  Vandamme  him- 
self,— a  colossal  figure  led  into  the  sovereign's 
presence  without  hat  or  sword.  He  was  left  in  the 
hands  of  the  Russians,  and  was  sent  a  prisoner  to 
the  frontier  of  Siberia. 


DEFEATS.  151 


CHAPTER  XXV. 

DEFEATS. 

The  plan  of  the  allies,  which  consisted  in  avoiding 
a  battle  with  ^Napoleon  whilst  defeating  his  generals 
in  detail,  was  extremely  successful.  The  Em- 
peror had  despatched  Oudinot  to  Berlin  with  a  force 
of  sixty-five  thousand  men,  thinking  that  this  was 
sufficient  to  deal  with  the  army  of  Bernadotte,  which 
he  regarded  merely  as  a  motley  collection  of  ill-as- 
sorted forces.  Bernadotte  was,  however,  a  general 
of  great  merit,  trained  in  the  school  of  Xapoleon,  and 
being  at  first  at  the  head  of  ninety  thousand  men,  he 
had  increased  the  number  to  one  hundred  and  thirty 
thousand.  Oudinot  came  close  to  the  gates  of  Berlin, 
but  he  was  beaten  at  Gross-Beeren  on  August  23, 
and  driven  back  upon  the  Elbe,  Davout,  who  was 
at  Hamburg,  having  been  unable  to  support  him. 
Three  davs  later  a  new  misfortune  befel  the  hard- 
pressed  Emperor.  As  we  have  seen  he  had  left  Mac- 
donald  to  continue  his  advance  against  the  army  of 
Silesia  with  an  army  of  eighty  thousand  men.  As 
soon  as  Bliicher  discovered  that  ]^apoleon  had  gone 
to  the  defence  of  Dresden  and  was  no  longer  present 
against  him  in  person,  he  determined  to  resume  the 
offensive,  and  advanced  towards  the  Katzbach.  The 
weather  was  terrible.  There  had  been  a  heavy  rain 
for  three  days  and  the  approaches  to  the  Katzbach 
were  impassable  from  mud,  so  that  a  large  part  of 
the  Prussian  recruits  lost  their  shoes.       A  strong 


152  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

north-west  wind  drove  the  rain  into  the  faces  of  the 
Frencli,  and  it  was  so  dark  that  nothing  was  visible 
at  the  distance  of  a  hundred  yards.  The  two 
armies  were  ignorant  of  each  other's  position.  When 
the  French  succeeded  in  crossing  the  river  and  reach- 
ing the  plateau  on  the  other  side,  Bliicher  determined 
that  the  moment  for  the  attack  had  arrived.  He 
cried,  "  Xow  you  have  got  enough  French  before  you, 
Forwards !  "  The  name  clung  to  him,  and  he  was 
ever  afterwards  known  as  "  Marshal  Forwards." 
Bliicher  gained  a  complete  victory ;  the  waters  of  the 
Katzbach  and  of  the  "  Raging  "  I^eisse  rose  higher 
and  higher  in  the  storm ;  all  the  bridges  were  carried 
awav ;  some  tried  to  save  themselves  bv  swimming, 
but  that  was  impossible  in  the  furious  torrent.  The 
battle  lasted  till  nightfall,  but  the  retreat  was  as 
disastrous  as  the  defeat,  and  jMacdonald  was  driven 
back,  first  upon  the  Bober,  then  upon  Gorlitz,  and 
then  upon  Bautzen. 

As  soon  as  Kapoleon  heard  of  this  disaster  he 
hastened  to  Bautzen  to  support  Macdonald.  He  did 
his  utmost  to  conceal  the  fact  of  his  presence,  but  he 
was  amongst  a  nation  of  spies,  and  Bliicher  was 
never  without  accurate  information  of  his  move- 
ments. As  soon  as  "  Marshal  Forwards  "  heard  of 
IN^apoleon'  s  approach  he  left  Gorlitz  and  retired 
upon  the  ISTeisse,  and  was  soon  out  of  range  of  Na- 
poleon's dreaded  attack.  Xo  sooner  had  the  great 
conqueror  left  for  Silesia  than  the  heads  of  the 
Bohemian  army  began  to  show  themselves  in  the  de- 
files  of  Peterswalde.  As  soon  as  they  heard  of  Na- 
poleon's return  to  the  camp  at  Pirna  they  stood  still, 
and  when  he  made  a  demonstration  against  them  they 
retired  into  Bohemia.  The  fears  of  his  prowess 
which  they  thus  exhibited  might  be  flattering  to  the 


DEFEATS.  153 

Emperor's  pride,  but  these  continual  marclies  and 
countermarches  sapped  the  strength  of  the  French 
army. 

A  still  worse  catastrophe  was  imminent.  It  had 
been  part  of  Napoleon's  design  to  seize  Berlin,  and 
we  have  already  narrated  the  failure  of  Oudinot 
to  achieve  this  enterprise.  After  the  battle  of 
Gross-Beeren,  Oudinot  had  retired  to  Wittenberg. 
He  was  joined  here  on  September  3  by  Ney,  who  had 
now  under  his  command  a  force  of  sixty-five  thousand 
men  opposed  to  a  Prussian  army  of  forty  thousand. 
On  September  6  ISTey  prepared  to  advance  to  Ber- 
lin, but  he  was  attacked  on  tlie  flank  at  Dennewitz 
and  entirely  defeated.  The  battle  occupied  four 
hours  of  the  afternoon  and  was  over  by  six  o'clock. 
The  French  suffered  severely ;  they  lost  ten  thousand 
killed  and  wounded  and  thirteen  thousand  five  hun- 
dred prisoners.  ISTey,  who  had  not  been  vanquished 
by  the  snows  of  Kussia,  now  lost  heart,  and  must  be 
added  to  the  number  of  the  marshals  who  were  weary 
of  the  continuance  of  the  war  and  longed  for  peace. 

By  this  succession  of  misfortunes  the  Grand  Army 
of  Napoleon  was  reduced  from  four  hundred  thou- 
sand to  about  two  hundred  thousand  men,  and  the 
plans  which  he  had  formed  were  incapable  of  realisa- 
tion. Doubtless  this  was  greatly  due  to  the  fact 
that  his  troops  consisted  largely  of  very  youthful 
levies  who  had  not  yet  been  seasoned  to  fire.  The 
Emperor  was  forced  to  content  himself  with  a  defen- 
sive position.  Instead  of  conquering  Berlin,  or  in- 
vading Bohemia,  or  recovering  the  fortresses  of  the 
Vistula,  he  had  enough  to  do  to  maintain  his  position 
in  Saxony.  He  therefore  concentrated  his  troops 
around  Dresden  in  a  quadrilateral  formed  by  Tor- 
gau,   Stolpen,   Pirna  and  Freiberg.     He  was  con- 


154  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

demned  to  a  forced  inaction,  and  to  be  the  witness  of 
the  gradual  disintegration  of  his  army,  which  was 
in  a  condition  of  great  distress.  Since  the  opening 
of  the  campaign  the  soldiers  had  been  placed  upon 
half  rations,  and  in  September  they  had  no  bread 
whatever. 

The  allies  on  the  other  hand  received  continual 
reinforcements,  and  gradually  nerved  themselves  for 
decisive  action.  On  September  23  they  were  re- 
inforced by  fifty  thousand  Russians  under  Benning- 
sen.  They  now  determined  to  give  up  the  idea  of 
attacking  ISTapoleon  directly  in  his  position  at  Dres- 
den, and  to  cut  off  his  communications  with  France, 
concentrating  their  forces  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Leipzig.  For  this  purpose  the  army  of  Bohemia 
was  to  advance  by  way  of  Chemnitz,  the  army  of 
Silesia  was  to  march  down  the  right  bank  of  the  Elbe, 
without  exciting  observation,  and  to  effect  a  junc- 
tion with  the  army  of  the  north.  It  was  to  cross  the 
Elbe  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Wittenberg  and  to  fol- 
low the  course  of  the  Mulda  to  Leipzig.  They  ex- 
pected in  this  manner  to  crush  Napoleon  between 
two  forces  each  of  equal  strength  to  his  own. 

These  movements  began  on  September  25,  and 
were  quickly  perceived  by  Napoleon,  who  indeed  ex- 
pected them.  He  occupied  Leipzig  with  twelve  thou- 
sand men;  he  despatched  Ney  towards  the  north 
to  watch  the  movements  of  Bernadotte  and  Bliicher, 
placing  Marmont  also  under  his  command ;  he  col- 
lected four  corps  d'armee  at  Freiberg  to  oppose  the 
army  of  Bohemia.  For  himself,  he  remained  at 
Dresden  to  watch  events  and  to  render  assistance 
whenever  it  might  be  required. 

At  the  beginning  of  October  Bliicher  crossed  the 
Elbe  at  Wittenberg,  and  Bernadotte  at  Dessau,  and 


DEFEATS.  155 

Xey  was  forced  to  retire  before  these  superior  forces. 
These  movements  made  it  impossible  for  Xapoleon  to 
remain  at  Dresden,  and  he  left  it  with  the  King  on 
October  7,  leaving  Saint  Cyr  in  command  of  the  city 
with  a  force  of  twenty  thousand  men.  While  the 
King  of  Saxony  established  himself  in  Leipzig,  Na- 
poleon marched  northwards  to  meet  Bernadotte  and 
Bliicher.  His  design  was  to  collect  the  large  gar- 
risons which  were  still  remaining  in  the  Elbe  for- 
tresses and  to  destroy  the  armv  of  the  ISJ'orth,  whilst 
]Vrurat  kept  the  Austrians  in  check  and  retreated 
slowly  to  Leipzig.  He  placed  his  headquarters  in 
an  old  castle  at  Diiben,  where  he  remained  for  three 
days  uncertain  of  his  plans.  Those  who  were  with 
him  say  that  they  never  forgot  those  days  of  uncer- 
tainty and  inaction:  the  wind  howling  in  the  trees 
and  the  old  timbers  of  the  castle  creaking  with  every 
blast.  At  last,  finding  that  his  generals  would  not 
support  plans  which  were  worthy  of  bis  genius,  he 
determined  to  fight  at  Leipzig.  Indeed,  delay  had 
made  any  other  decision  impossible,  if  he  wished  to 
prevent  his  enemies  from  concentrating  the  whole 
of  their  forces  and  cutting  off  his  retreat  from 
France. 


156  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XXVI. 

THE  BATTLE   OF   LEIPZIG. 

The  battle  of  Leipzig,  the  "  Battl?^  of  {he  Na- 
tions," as  it  is  sometimes  called,  is  one  of  the  great- 
est as  well  as  one  of  the  most  important  in  history. 
It  lasted  for  six  davs,  from  October  l-i  to  October 
10;  but  during  this  week  of  conflict  there  w^ere  two 
days  of  comparative  rest.  On  October  14  the  fight- 
ing was  confined  to  an  engagement  of  cavalry.  On 
October  16  the  real  battle  took  place,  and  it  might 
more  fitly  be  called  the  battle  of  Wachaii.  Xapoleon 
actually  won  it,  and  slept  on  the  field  of  battle,  but 
whilst  he  was  engaged  on  one  side  of  Leipzig,  Marmont 
was  attacked  on  the  other  at  Mockern,  and  could  not 
send  him  the  reinforcements  he  needed  to  complete 
the  victory.  By  October  18  his  cause  had  become 
hopeless,  because  the  allies  had  concentrated  in  over- 
whelming numbers,  and  the  battle  fought  on  that 
day  was  engaged  merely  for  the  purpose  of  masking 
his  disaster  and  covering  his  retreat.  That  night  he 
slept  in  Leipzig  in  the  Hotel  de  Prusse,  and  the  next 
morning  he  evacuated  the  to^vn  in  good  order,  the 
allies  enterino-  it  inmiediatelv  afterwards.  The  bat- 
tie  is  indeed  riahtlv  called  the  "  Battle  of  the  N^a- 
tions."  There  fought  under  the  eagles  of  France, 
Italians,  Spaniards,  Portuguese,  Belgians,  Dutch, 
Swiss,  Poles,  and  Germans.  On  the  other  hand, 
ISTapoleon  was  opposed  by  Germans,  Slavs,  Hun- 
garians, ISTorth  Germans,  Swedes,  and  English,  and 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LEIPZIG.  157 

it  is  said  that  Bashkirs  and  Calmucks,  armed  with 
bows  and  arrows,  fought  in  the  Kussian  ranks.  It 
is  reckoned  that  in  this  battle  IsTapoleon  commanded 
a  force  of  two  hundred  thousand  men,  but  the  allies 
were  certainly  superior  in  numbers. 

Let  us  briefly  follow  the  main  points  of  the  engage- 
ment. ISTapoleon  arrived  at  Leipzig  on  October  l-i 
and  posted  Murat  at  Wachau,  on  some  heights  com- 
manding a  plain  suitable  in  every  way  for  the  evolu- 
tions of  cavalry;  Schwarzenberg  reached  the  place 
of  conflict  on  the  same  day.  Murat  attacked  the 
Austrians,  and  a  violent  cavalry  engagement  ensued, 
in  which  the  King  of  N'aples  displayed  great  dash 
and  bravery.  The  struggle  was  mainly  for  the  pos- 
session of'  Liebertwolkwitz,  wdiich  eventually  re- 
mained in  possession  of  the  allies.  The  battle 
came  to  an  end  at  nightfall  owing  to  heavy  rain. 
The  French  had  lost  six  hundred  dead  and  wounded, 
the  Austrians  about  the  same  number. 

The  following  day  was  spent  in  preparation  for 
the  main  conflict.  IsTapoleon  took  his  stand  on  the 
heights  of  Wachau,  and  was  surrounded  by  names 
famous  in  history :  Murat,  Oudinot,  Mortier,  Lauris- 
ton,  Macdonald,  Augereau  and  Poniatowski.  The 
allies  attacked  in  three  columns  directed  against  the 
three  villages  of  Liebertwolkwitz, Wachau  and  Mark- 
kleeberg.  IS'apoleon  attacked  them  with  the  fire  of 
three  hundred  guns,  and  then  his  infantry  made  a 
furious  onslaught  on  Wachau.  The  centre  of  the 
allies  was  weak  and  it  began  to  waver,  and  the  Em- 
peror now  prepared  to  give  the  coup-de-grace.  It 
was  one  o'clock  in  the  afternoon;  the  Emperor  of 
Austria  and  the  King  of  Prussia  were  watching  the 
progress  of  the  fight  from  a  neighbouring  eminence. 
For  this  purpose  I^apoleon  collected  a  body  of  twelve 


158  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

thousand  cavalry  divided  into  two  masses,  one  com- 
manded bj  Murat,  the  other  by  Kellermann.  This 
hnge  body  moved  forwards ;  the  eartli  groaned  un- 
der its  advance,  and  the  soil  shook  beneath  the  hoofs 
of  the  horses.  A  Russian  regiment  which  stood  in 
their  path  was  absolutely  annihilated.  Success 
seemed  to  be  imminent,  and  Xapoleon  sent  to  apprise 
the  King  of  Saxony  of  the  result,  with  orders  to  ring 
the  bells  of  the  town.  The  allied  sovereigns,  who 
were  sitting  on  a  hill  on  Windsor  chairs,  were  in  con- 
siderable danger.  But  just  in  front  of  the  hill  on 
which  they  stood  ran  a  ditch  which  checked  the  on- 
slaught of  the  cavalry  and  made  the  charge  in- 
effective. Murat,  as  was  his  wont,  had  ridden  too  fast 
and  the  infantrv  were  too  far  off  to  lend  the  neces- 
sary  assistance,  nor  had  he  arranged  his  reserves  with 
due  prudence.  Just  at  the  critical  moment  the 
weapon  broke  in  l^apoleon's  hand.  He  was,  however, 
able  to  hold  his  own,  and,  as  has  before  been  said, 
slept  on  the  field  of  battle.  In  the  meantime 
Bllicher  and  Bernadotte  had  attacked  the  corps  of 
]\Iarmont  which  was  securely  posted  amongst  the  houses 
of  Mockern  to  the  north  of  the  town.  Just  at  the 
moment  when  his  master  most  urgently  needed  his 
assistance  he  was  unable  to  give  it,  as  his  position  had 
been  forced  by  "  Marshal  Forwards,"  who  was  able 
to  sleep  in  the  village  which  he  had  captured. 

The  following  day,  which  was  Sunday,  was  spent 
in  repose  on  either  side,  preparing  for  the  final  con- 
flict of  the  morrow.  An  attempt  was  made  to  open 
negotiations  with  the  Austrians  by  means  of  General 
Meereveld,  who  had  been  taken  prisoner,  but  it  led 
to  no  result.  On  the  same  day  also  Bernadotte  ar- 
rived on  the  scene  of  action,  and  the  reinforcements 
of  Russians  were  brought  up  by  Benningsen.       Thus 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LEIPZIG.  159 

on  October  18  the  allies  had  under  their  command 
three  hundred  thousand  men,  whereas  the  French 
could  only  meet  them  with  one  hundred  and  sixty- 
five  thousand.  If  he  had  followed  the  dictates  of 
prudence,  ISTapoleon  should  have  retreated  from  the 
field  on  the  night  of  October  17,  but  his  pride  would 
not  allow  him  to  make  this  confession  of  failure. 
He  strengthened  his  position  round  the  town,  draw- 
ing up  his  forces  in  a  semicircle  with  a  smaller  radius 
than  that  of  the  previous  day.  He  omitted  to  throw 
bridges  across  the  Elster,  and  reserved  for  his  retreat 
only  the  road  through  Lindenau. 

The  villages  which  were  prominent  on  the  third 
day  of  the  battle  were  Dolitz,  Probstheida  and  Stot- 
teritz,  the  second  of  these  forming  the  salient  point. 
It  was  defended  stubbornly  by  Victor  and  Lauris- 
ton.  On  the  other  hand,  Dolitz  to  the  right  of  the 
French  upon  the  Pleisse  was  taken,  and  the  French 
line  was  moved  back  to  Connewitz.  In  the  mean- 
time Bernadotte  was  advancing  on  the  east.  The 
Saxon  troops  were  posted  in  this  part  of  the  field, 
and  when  the  Swedish  Crown  Prince  approached 
they  passed  over  to  his  side  and  began  firing  upon  the 
French,  of  whom  they  had  just  now  been  the  allies. 
This  left  a  terrible  gap  in  the  French  line,  and  the 
cavalry  and  artillery  of  the  guard  brought  up  by 
Napoleon  himself  had  a  difficulty  in  filling  it  up. 
At  about  six  o'clock  in  the  evening  jSJ'apoleon,  feeling 
much  exhausted,  ordered  his  page  to  place  a  carpet 
upon  the  ground,  upon  which  he  slept  peacefully  for 
some  time.  The  battle,  which  had  been  hopeless  for 
Napoleon  from  the  beginning,  was  terminated  by  a 
furious  salvo  of  artillery,  in  which  it  is  said  that  two 
thousand  pieces  of  cannon  took  part. 

The  retreat  went  on  during  the  night,  over  the 


160  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

bridge  of  Lindenau,  the  only  one  which  was  available 
for  guns,  carriages,  horses  and  men.  As  soon  as 
the  fog  lifted  on  October  19  the  allies  made  a  com- 
bined attack,  which  was  resisted  to  the  best  of  their 
power  by  Macdonald,  Marmont,  Poniatowski,  and 
Lauriston.  Napoleon  took  leave  of  the  King  of 
Saxony  abont  eleven  o'clock,  and  an  hour  later  the 
allied  sovereigns  met  him  at  the  door  of  his  palace  in 
the  market-place  and  declared  him  a  prisoner  of  war. 
The  Emperor  then  crossed  the  bridge  of  Lindenau 
and  remained  at  a  mill  on  the  other  side  until  nearly 
the  whole  of  the  army  had  departed.  He  then  rode 
slowly  along  the  road  to  Mainz.  The  empire  of  iSTa- 
poleon  was  at  an  end ;  more  than  one  hundred  thou- 
sand men  had  fallen  in  this  supreme  struggle,  of 
which  forty  thousand  were  French.  Further,  one 
hundred  and  seventy  thousand  troops  were  locked  up 
in  German  fortresses. 

The  Bavarians,  with  base  ingratitude,  tried  to  in- 
tercept the  French  army  in  their  retreat  at  Hanau  on 
October  30,  but  they  were  entirely  crushed  by  the 
artillerv  of  Davout.  On  Xovember  4  the  French 
army  recrossed  the  Rhine  in  a  terrible  condition ;  the 
retreat  from  Leipzig  had  been  almost  as  fatal  as  the 
retreat  from  Moscow.  Xapoleon  himself  reached  St. 
Cloud  on  ]^oveniber  9  to  prepare  for  a  final  effort, 
the  results  of  which  will  be  narrated  in  succeeding 
chapters. 


PART  SIX. 
THE  PENINSULAR  AVAR. 


CHAPTER  XXYII. 

THE   CONVENTION   OF   CINTKA. 

The  peace  of  Tilsit  and  the  intimate  communica- 
tions which  took  place  in  that  town  between  the  two 
Emperors  of  France  and  Russia  may  be  regarded  as 
the  culmination  of  the  first  part  of  Napoleon's  sove- 
reign care.  We  do  not  know,  nor  shall  probably 
ever  know,  what  passed  between  the  two  rulers  of  the 
world  during  these  confidences,  still  less  what  plans 
were  seething  in  the  mind  of  Napoleon.  We  maj 
however  conclude  from  a  general  survey  of  his  work 
that  he  had  two  ends  in  view,  one  by  subduing  Eng- 
land to  force  her  to  make  peace,  and  the  other  to 
form  that  confederation  of  the  Latin  races  under  the 
leadership  of  France  which  was  undoubtedly  the 
main  object  of  his  political  activity.  In  order 
to  effect  these  objects  it  was  necessary  first  to 
compel  Portugal,  which  had  been  for  more  than  a 
hundred  years  the  commercial  vassal  of  England,  to 
break  with  her  old  connections,  and  to  join  the  system 
of  continental  blockade  which  Napoleon  inaugurated 
in  the  Berlin  decrees;  and  secondly,  to  drive  the 
11  161 


1G2  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Bourbon  family  from  the  throne  of  Spain  and  re- 
place them  by  some  dynasty  more  in  accordance  with 
modern  ideas  of  progress. 

It  is  probable,  however,  that  I^apoleon  in  con- 
ceiving these  plans  had  a  very  inadequate  idea  of  the 
magnitude  of  the  task  he  was  undertaking.  He  may 
have  thought  that  it  would  be  as  easy,  or  nearly  so, 
to  deal  with  Spain  as  he  had  found  it  to  deal  with 
ISTaples.  But  he  discovered  to  his  cost  that  when  the 
government  of  Spain  was  crushed  and  the  rulers  of 
Portugal  put  to  flight,  the  task  of  subduing  these 
countries  was  by  no  means  accomplished,  and  that 
there  remained  to  confront  the  Grand  Army  a  whole 
people  in  arms  favoured  by  its  chains  of  mountains, 
its  rocks,  the  rigour  of  its  climate  and  the  barrenness 
of  its  soil.  He  discovered,  also,  when  it  was  too  late, 
that  in  Spain  and  Portugal  the  English  had  found  a 
means  of  combating  on  land  the  great  military  power 
which  they  never  could  have  met  upon  the  Continent 
in  the  open  field. 

On  August  12,  1807,  jSTapoleon  sent  a  summons  to 
the  government  of  Lisbon  calling  upon  them  to  close 
their  harbours  to  English  ships,  to  join  the  league 
of  the  continental  powers,  and  to  confiscate  all 
British  property  in  their  country.  Notwithstanding 
the  friendly  treaties  which  existed  between  the  two 
powers  of  the  Iberian  peninsula,  Spain  now  stood 
on  the  side  of  Erance  and  supj^orted  her  demands, 
whilst  an  army  of  observation  of  twenty  thousand 
men  under  Junot  was  posted  at  Bayonne  in  order  to 
give  effect  to  the  Emperor's  demands.  The  govern- 
ment of  Portugal  was  greatlv  embarrassed ;  she  was 
not  unwilling  to  co-operate  with  France  so  far  as  this 
co-operation  did  not  imply  a  breach  ^\ith  England. 
But    that    was    impossible.       The    army    of    Junot 


THE  CONVENTION  OF  CINTRA.  163 

crossed  the  Bidassoa  on  October  18,  and  four  days 
later  the  Prince  Regent  of  Portugal  signed  a  treaty 
with  England  by  which  that  country  bound  herself 
to  assist  Portugal  in  transferring  the  monarchy,  in 
case  of  need,  to  Brazil. 

On  October  27  two  treaties  were  signed  at  Fon- 
tainebleau  between  Duroc  representing  France  and 
Isquierdo  representing  Spain,  by  which  Portugal  was 
to  be  partitioned,  so  that  the  northern  part,  with  the 
town  of  Oporto,  should  be  formed  into  a  kingdom, 
called  ISTorth  Lusitania,  to  be  given  to  the  King  of 
Etruria  in  exchange  for  Tuscany,  while  the  southern 
portion  became  a  principality  to  be  held  by  Godoy 
with  the  title  of  Prince  of  the  Algarves;  both  these 
dominions  were  to  be  under  the  protection  of  Spain; 
the  centre  of  Portugal,  with  a  population  of  two 
millions,  was  to  remain  in  sequestration,  that  is,  in 
the  possession  of  the  French,  until  the  general  peace, 
when  it  could  be  exchanged  for  Gibraltar,  Trinidad 
or  other  colonies.  The  sovereign  of  this  third  di- 
vision, whoever  he  might  be,  was  also  to  be  under  the 
protectorate  of  Spain,  and  the  King  of  Spain  was  to 
assume,  with  ]*^apoleon's  approval,  the  title  of  '"  Em- 
peror of  both  the  Indies."  The  transatlantic  posses- 
sions of  Portugal  were  to  be  similarly  divided  be- 
tween France  and  Spain.  It  was  also  arranged  that 
a  French  army  should  enter  Portugal,  and  that  whilst 
the  general  commanding  this  army  occupied  the 
sequestered  portions  of  the  monarchy,  the  northern 
and  southern  divisions  should  be  similarly  occupied 
by  Spanish  troops. 

Junot,  marching  rapidly  through  Sj^ain,  crossed 
the  frontier  of  Portugal  on  November  12.  Two 
days  later  the  ]\Iinisters  announced  that  the  House 
of  Braganza  had  ceased  to  reign,  and  that  the  Prince 


104  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Regent  of  Portugal  had  lost  his  throne  because  he  had 
listened  to  English  intrigues,  and  because  he  had  re- 
fused to  confiscate  English  property  in  Lisbon.  "  The 
fate  of  the  House  of  Braganza,"  they  said,  "  is  a 
new  indication  that  no  one  can  escape  destruction 
who  allies  himself  with  the  English."  Junot  had 
orders  to  make  no  concession  to  the  Prince  Regent, 
even  if  he  promised  to  declare  war  against  England, 
and  that  he  was  to  march  with  all  speed  to  Lisbon 
and  seize  ships  and  docks. 

On  November  27  the  roval  family  set  sail  for 
Brazil,  the  advanced  guard  of  Junot's  army  being 
then  only  a  few  miles  from  the  city.  Three  days 
later  he  entered  the  caj)ital  with  a  force  of  twenty- 
six  thousand  men,  and  the  day  following  the  arms 
of  Braganza  were  supplanted  on  all  public  build- 
ings by  the  Imperial  eagle.  Under  pretext  of  cover- 
ing the  army  of  Portugal  several  French  corps  suc- 
cessively entered  Spain.  First  came  Dupont,  then 
Moncey,  and  then  Duhesme,  so  that  in  a  time  of 
peace  and  in  an  allied  country  eighty  thousand 
French  troops  had  occupied  the  north  of  Spain  with- 
out striking  a  blow. 

The  gradual  extension  of  French  power,  the  great 
impopularity  of  Godoy,  Prince  of  the  Peace,  and  the 
domestic  quarrels  of  the  royal  family,  all  contributed 
to  throw  the  Spanish  people  into  a  fever  of  excite- 
ment. On  March  19,  1808,  a  revolution  broke  out 
at  Aranjuez,  in  which  the  Prince  of  the  Peace  nearly 
lost  his  life.  The  King,  Charles  IV.,  was  compelled 
to  abdicate,  and  the  Prince  of  the  Asturias  was  set 
up  in  his  place  with  the  title  of  Ferdinand  VII. 
While  these  events  were  proceeding,  the  French  army 
was  gradually  advancing  towards  the  centre  of 
SjDain^and  ]\Iurat  entered  Madrid  on  March  23.     Na- 


THE  CONVENTION  OF  CINTRA.  165 

poleon  now  determined  to  throw  off  the  mask.  He 
summoned  to  Bayonne  on  April  2.  first  the  young 
King  Ferdinand  VII.  and  then  the  old  King  Charles 
IV.,  under  tlie  pretext  of  arranging  their  disputes. 
When  he  got  them  both  into  his  power,  he  persuaded 
Charles  IV.  to  abdicate  in  favour  of  his  son,  and  his 
son  to  abdicate  in  favour  of  Napoleon ;  he  then  gave 
the  crown  of  Spain  to  his  brother  Joseph,  who  had 
previously  been  King  of  i^aples. 

The  answer  to  this  was  the  outbreak  of  a  formi- 
dable insurrection  in  Madrid,  which  was  put 
down  by  Murat  with  terrible  severity.  But  the 
example  of  the  capital  was  followed  by  the 
whole  countr3^  Every  province,  every  district,  every 
town  and  nearly  every  village  established  its  junta 
for  the  maintenance  of  independence.  The  move- 
ment was  naturally  supported  by  the  Church,  and 
priest  and  monk  were  formidable  opponents.  In  a 
short  time  from  the  Asturias  to  Cadiz  the  whole  of  the 
population  was  in  arms  for  King  Ferdinand  VII., 
and  the  French  armies  wherever  they  might  be  had 
to  struggle  for  their  existence.  In  the  meantime 
Joseph  could  only  be  conveyed  from  Bayonne  to 
Madrid  by  force  of  arms.  Entering  Spain  on  July 
9,  he  found  himself  opposed  by  an  army  of  his  pre- 
tended subjects,  composed  of  twenty-five  thousand 
men  and  commanded  by  Blake  and  Don  Gregorio  de 
la  Cuesta.  It  was  easily  crushed  by  Marshal  Bes- 
sieres  at  Medina  del  Eio  Seco,  and  on  July  20  Joseph 
was  able  to  take  up  his  quarters  in  the  capital. 

Scarcely  had  he  been  there  a  week,  when  he  was 
compelled  to  withdraw  at  the  news  of  the  capitulation 
of  Baylen.  Whilst  Bessieres  was  advancing  upon 
Madrid,  the  other  divisions  of  the  French  army  were 
occupied  in  different  parts  of  Spain  in  reducing  the 


166  "WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

provinces  under  the  authority  of  King  Joseph.     The 
division  of  Dnpont,   composed   of  twenty  thousand 
men,  was  employed  for  this  purpose  in  Andalusia. 
Dupont   obtained   possession   of   Cordova   and  plun- 
dered it,  but  at  Seville,  the  capital  of  the  province, 
was   established  the  central  junta,  which  directed   the 
operations   of  the   country   against   the  French  and 
the  army  of  Castafios,  Avhich  was  composed  of  the 
best  troops  of  Spain.     Dupont  now  retired  to  Andu- 
jar,  which  was  soon  invested  by  an  army  of  thirty- 
five  thousand  Spaniards.    They  closed  the  defiles  behind 
the  array  of  Dupont  and  cut  him  off  from  his  sub- 
ordinate, General  Vedel.     His  force  being  reduced 
to  eleven  thousand  and  left  without  food  or  ammuni- 
tion, he  signed  a  capitulation  at  Baylen  on  July  21. 
When  the  pen  was  in  his  hand  he  nearly  threw  it 
down  at  the  sound  of  the  guns  of  Vedel,  who  was  in 
the  full  tide  of  success,  and  there  is  little  doubt  that 
Vedel  could  have  cut  a  way  for  him  through  the 
opposing  forces.     But  Dupont  had  included  Vedel 
in  the  capitulation,  as  well  as  other  French  troops  in 
the  villages  of  La  Mancha.      This  was  the  first  great 
check    which     Napoleon     had     experienced.     King 
Joseph  had  to  leave  Madrid  more  quickly  than  he 
had  entered  it.     The  various  French  armies  retired 
towards  the  Ebro,  and  the  patriotic  insurrection  re- 
covered possession  of  three-quarters  of  their  country. 
This  disaster  in  Spain  was  followed  by  a  similar 
collapse  in  Portugal.      At  the  beginning  of  August, 
1808,    Sir  Arthur  Wellesley,   afterwards  known  as 
the  famous  Duke  of  Wellington,  disembarked  with  an 
army  of  twelve  thousand  men  at  the  estuary  of  the 
Kiver  Mondego.        His  first  engagement  with   the 
French  took  place  at  Eoliga,  but  a  much  more  im- 
portant battle  was  fought  at  Vimiero  on  August  21. 


THE  CONVENTION  OF  CINTRA.  167 

The  English  occupied  a  position  on  commanding 
heights,  while  their  left  flank  was  protected  by  a 
deep  ravine,  invisible  to  the  enemy.  Junot  attacked 
in  two  columns ;  his  right  hand  column  came  upon 
the  ravine  above  mentioned,  and  giving  the  English 
time  to  strengthen  the  defence,  was  eventually  re- 
pulsed with  heavy  loss,  including  several  guns.  But 
the  main  attack  was  in  the  centre,  where  the  French 
scaled  the  heights,  sweeping  the  English  skirmishers 
before  them,  but  they  had  to  face  a  crushing  artil- 
lery fire,  followed  up  by  charges  with  the  bayonet. 
They  were  driven  back  faster  than  they  had  climbed, 
but  rallied  again  and  returned  to  the  attack.  The 
copses,  vineyards  and  ravines  were  filled  with  dead 
and  wounded;  guns  were  taken,  retaken  and  taken 
again.  At  last  Junot,  when  he  had  brought  his  last 
man  into  action,  realised  that  his  enterprise  had 
failed.  The  result  of  this  was  the  Convention  of 
Cintra,  signed  on  August  30,  by  which  the  French 
agreed  to  evacuate  Portugal  with  the  honours  of  war. 
The  troops  of  Junot  were  faithfully  conveyed  back 
to  France  in  English  vessels. 


168  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XXVIIL 


NArOLEON  IN  SPAIN. 


Aftee  these  two  crushing  reverses  Xapoleon  de- 
termined to  take  the  affairs  of  the  Peninsula  into  his 
own  hands.  After  having,  for  a  time  at  least,  en- 
sured the  tranquillity  of  Central  Europe  by  the  Con- 
gress of  Erfurt,  he  directed  the  best  troops  of  the 
Grand  Army  and  the  Imperial  Guard  upon  Bayonne. 
The  arm}^  of  Sj)ain,  as  it  was  called,  consisted  of  two 
hundred  thousand  of  Xapoleon's  chosen  troops,  and 
was  divided  into  eight  corps  d'armee.  The  Em- 
peror assumed  command  of  it  at  Bayonne  on  Kovem- 
bcr  3.  He  immcdiateh'  crossed  the  frontier  and 
joined  King  Joseph  at  Miranda  on  the  Ebro.  There 
stretched  before  him  in  a  long  line  the  tumultuary 
levies  which  the  Spaniards  honoured  by  the  name 
of  armies:  Blake  with  thirtv-two  thousand  men  to 
the  north,  Belvedere  with  twelve  thousand  men  at 
Burgos,  Castanos  and  Palafox  with  forty  thousand 
men  on  the  Ebro  at  Tudela.  Sir  John  Moore  had 
been  plaeed  by  the  English  government  in  command 
of  thirtv-one  thousand  infantrv  and  five  thousand 
cavalry  on  October  6,  but  at  this  time  he  had  scarcely 
entered  Spain  from  Portugal. 

ISTapoleon,  having  despatched  Marshals  Lefebvre 
and  Victor  to  deal  with  Blake  upon  his  right,  marched 
upon  the  centre  of  the  Spanish  line  at  Burgos, 
which  was  very  weak.  Blake  was  entirely  defeated 
at  Espinosa  on  November  11,  and  on  the  same  day 


NAPOLEON  IN  SPAIN.  169 

ISTapoleon  entered  Burgos  and  made  it  his  head- 
quarters. Unfortunately  the  Spanish  troops  were 
very  good  at  running  away,  and  it  was  more  easy  to 
defeat  them  than  to  destroy  them.  Napoleon  now 
turned  his  attention  to  his  left,  where  he  w\as 
opposed  by  Castafios  and  Palafox.  They  were  de- 
feated by  Lannes  at  Tudela  on  IsTovember  27;  they 
lost  about  four  thousand  dead  and  wounded  and  all 
their  artillery.  Thus  by  the  end  of  the  month  Old 
Castile  and  the  whole  of  the  line  of  the  Ebro  was  in 
the  possession  of  the  French  and  the  road  to  Madrid 
was  open. 

ISTapoleon  now  gave  orders  to  Xey  to  follow  Casta- 
fios and  not  leave  a  man  of  his  army  alive;  Moncey 
was  to  undertake  the  siege  of  Saragossa ;  St.  Cyr  was 
to  march  through  Catalonia  and  relieve  Barcelona; 
Lefebvre  was  to  occupy  Yalladolid  and  Segovia. 
Soult  was  to  meet  Sir  John  ]\Ioore  in  Old  Castile  and 
drive  him  back  to  Portugal.  Mortier  was  to  take 
up  a  position  at  Burgos.  In  the  meantime  ISTa- 
poleon was  to  march  upon  the  capital  with  forty 
thousand  men  before  the  Spaniards  had  been  able  to 
recover  from  their  consternation.  The  road  to 
Madrid  was  barred  by  a  pass  of  the  Guadarama 
^lountains,  wdiich  was  carefully  defended  by  the 
Junta,  They  placed  three  thousand  men  in  the 
little  town  of  Sepulveda  and  nine  thousand  on  the 
summit  of  Somo-Sierra,  disposing  them  along  the 
winding  road,  which  was  also  defended  by  cannon. 
ISTapoleon  resolved  to  attack  their  position  and,  as 
often  happened,  his  operations  were  favoured  by 
the  morning  mist.  The  neighbouring  heights  were 
occupied  without  the  enemy  perceiving  it,  and  as  soon 
as  the  clouds  lifted  the  assault  began.  ISTapoleon 
ordered  a  detachment  of  Polish  cavalry  to  charge  up 


170  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

tlie  road  ao;ainst  tlie  batterv  which  defended  it. 
Thirty-seven  horsemen  were  killed  by  the  first  dis- 
charge, but  the  Poles  re-formed  themselves,  killed 
the  gunners,  and  captured  the  guns.  A  panic  seized 
the  rest  of  the  Spanish  troops;  they  threw  their 
muskets  away  and  fled  up  the  hill  and  do\vn  the 
opposite  slope.  ISTapoleon  took  all  the  guns,  all  the 
standards,  two  hundred  munition  waggons,  and  al- 
most all  the  officers. 

The  eft'ect  which  this  brilliant  passage  of  arms 
had  upon  the  Junta  in  Madrid  may  be  imagined, 
for  they  had  deemed  this  pass  to  be  invincible. 
They  first  fled  to  Badajoz  and  then  to  Toledo.  The 
inhabitants  desired  to  defend  Madrid  to  the  utmost 
and  to  make  it  a  second  Saragossa,  but  milder  coun- 
sels prevailed.  The  town  capitulated  after  a  short 
bombardment  and  the  French  troojDS  entered  it  on 
December  4. 

It  now  remained  to  deal  with  the  army  of  Sir 
John  Moore.  He  had  reached  Salamanca  on 
November  13,  too  late  to  intercept  tire  advance  of  l^a- 
poleon  on  Madrid.  When  he  heard  of  the  capture  of 
the  capital  he  retired  towards  the  Asturias  with 
twenty-five  thousand  men  in  order  to  engage  Soult 
in  the  Asturias.  ISTapoleon  left  Madrid  in  pursuit 
of  him  on  December  22,  and  on  the  following  day 
at  Tordesillas  received  a  despatch  from  Soult  saying 
that  he  had  with  him  twenty  thousand  infantry  and 
three  thousand  cavalry  and  that  Moore  w^as  approach- 
ing Sahagun.  The  Emperor  charged  him  to  hold 
out,  as,  if  the  English  remained  a  single  day  longer 
in  that  position,  they  would  be  annihilated.  Moore, 
howe^'er,  who  was  well  informed  as  to  the  condition 
of  affairs,  determined  to  retreat  towards  Corunna. 

Xapoleon  pursued  the  English  with  such  ardour 


THE  DUKE  OF  \VEI.LIXGTON. 


17 


NAPOLEON  IN  SPAIN.  171 

that  he  came  up  with  tlieir  rear-gnard,  and  at  the 
River  Esla  he  lost  one  of  his  cavalry  generals,  Le- 
febvre-Desnouettes,  who  was  taken  prisoner.  He  was 
received  by  Moore  with  great  courtesy,  who  asked 
him  to  dinner  and  presented  him  with  an  Indian 
sabre.  New  Year's  Day  of  the  momentous  year 
1809  was  spent  in  Astorga,  where  ISTapoleon  re- 
mained to  collect  his  troops.  Here  he  received  im- 
portant news,  which  informed  him  that  Austria  was 
arming  for  war,  which  would  break  out  in  the  spring, 
that  he  could  no  longer  depend  upon  the  co-operation 
of  Eussia,  and '  that  Germany  was  becoming  dis- 
turbed. The  chances  were,  therefore,  that  he  would 
have  to  fight  alone  against  Austria,  Germany,  and 
England,  and  possibly  Russia.  His  resolution  was 
quickly  taken.  He  left  the  pursuit  of  the  English 
to  Soult  and  set  out  for  Valladolid.  He  rode  at  full 
gallop,  finding  everywhere  a  change  of  horses,  until 
he  reached  Bayonne  and  then  returned  to  Paris  to 
prepare  for  that  extraordinary  campaign,  the  history 
of  which  has  been  related  in  our  third  book. 

Moore  continued  his  retreat  to  Corunna.  He 
checked  the  pursuers  at  Benavente  and  at  Lugo,  and 
having  rallied  his  army  on  the  heights  for  two  days, 
vainly  offered  battle.  The  troops  were  demoralised ; 
the  transport  animals  failed  and  could  not  be  re- 
placed ;  guns  and  ammunition  waggons  were  aban- 
doned; barrels  of  dollars  were  broached  and  rolled 
down  the  rocks,  the  soldiers  endangering  their  lives 
in  their  attempt  to  fill  their  pockets. 

At  last  Sir  John  Moore  reached  Corunna  with 
fourteen  thousand  men ;  he  looked  anxiously  out  to 
sea,  but  could  descry  no  fleet  in  the  roadstead  or  the 
offing,  the  ships  that  were  expected  from  Vigo 
having  been  detained  by  adverse  winds.     The  French 


172  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

were  able  to  occupy  the  heights  which  commanded  the 
harbour,  but  the  fleet  had,  at  last,  come  into  sight.  At 
two  in  the  afternoon  of  January  16  Soult  ordered  an 
advance.  Moore  defended  his  ground  with  energy, 
and  it  may  be  said  that  the  French  attack  was  not  a 
success.  The  principal  stand  was  made  by  Baird 
at  Elvas.  But  whilst  Moore  was  watching  the  fight 
at  this  place  he  was  struck  from  his  horse  by  a  can- 
non-shot, and  was  buried  by  torchlight  in  the  ram- 
parts. The  rest  of  the  English  army  was  now  em- 
barked without  difliculty,  two  divisions  before  day- 
break and  the  garrison  of  the  citadel  in  the  after- 
noon. 


SOULT  IN  PORTUGAL.  173 


CHAPTER     XXIX. 


SOULT    IX    PORTUGAL. 


I*Tapoleok"  might  have  believed  that  he  had  placed 
his  possession  of  Spain  on  a  permanent  basis,  by  re- 
storing his  brother  to  Madrid  and  by  driving  an  Eng- 
lish army  into  the  sea.  Bnt  the  war  in  the  Penin- 
sula was  not  of  such  a  nature  that  it  could  be  termi- 
nated by  victories.  There  was  no  difficulty  in  routing 
and  dispersing  the  Spanish  forces;  they  fled  at  the 
first  attack  like  mist  driven  by  the  wind.  The  very 
rapidity  of  their  discomfiture  preserved  them  from 
complete  destruction,  and  permitted  them  to  re-form 
anew,  to  be  again  beaten  and  dispersed.  With  such 
adversaries  to  contend  with,  the  French  troops  had 
no  difficulty  in  marching  from  one  end  of  Spain  to 
the  other,  but  ever  victorious  in  front,  they  were  har- 
assed in  their  flank  and  in  their  rear,  bv  the  continual 
attacks  of  the  guerilleros. 

These  were  collected  in  small  bands,  comnosed  of 
adroit  and  hardy  men,  who  could  hide  in  ditches 
or  behind  rocks,  and  wait  for  the  opportunity  of  sur- 
prising the  isolated,  cutting  off  the  stragglers,  robbing 
the  post  or  intercepting  supplies.  If  they  happened 
to  come  in  contact  with  a  superior  force,  they  quick- 
ly dispersed  to  re-form  anew.  If  they  were  in  suffi- 
cient numbers,  they  killed  every  one  ojiposed  to  them 
— soldiers,  both  sick  and  wounded,  and  civilians. 
They  delighted  in  the  robbery  of  munitions  and  sup- 


174  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

plies.  All  the  inhabitants  of  the  country  were  their 
accomplices  and  their  spies,  whereas  the  French 
never  knew  anything  that  was  going  on  a  hundred 
yards  from  their  outposts.  A  body  of  French  troops 
only  commanded  the  actual  ground  which  it  occu- 
pied; it  might  be  compared  to  a  movable  fortress 
in  a  per})etual  condition  of  blockade.  The  Spaniards, 
who  were  worthless  and  despicable  in  a  pitched  battle, 
were  extremely  formidable  in  the  changing  vicissi- 
tudes of  their  guerilla  warfare. 

The  Spaniards  also  displayed  great  tenacity  of 
courage  when  fighting  behindwalls,  whether  they  were 
the  walls  of  a  convent  or  the  ramparts  of  a  town. 
The  culminating  point  of  tliis  stubborn  heroism  was 
reached  in  the  defence  of  Saragossa,  the  capital  of 
Aragon,  which  lasted  from  December,  1808,  to 
February,  1809.  The  army  of  Palafox,  vanquished 
at  Tudela,  had  taken  refuge  within  its  walls.  The 
town  was  besieged  by  Lannes,  Avho  had  little  diffi- 
culty in  making  himself  master  of  the  outer  circle 
of  walls.  ]3ut  this  was  only  the  beginning  of  trouble 
both  for  besiegers  and  besieged.  Each  house  had  be- 
come a  separate  fortress ;  each  street  could  only  be 
crossed  by  subterraneous  thoroughfares ;  every  roof 
and  steeple  was  occupied  by  deadly  marksmen ; 
mine  met  mine,  and  explosions  were  of  hourly  occur- 
rence. The  convents,  enormous  cubic  masses  of  stone, 
pierced  with  embrasures,  offered  excellent  centres  of 
resistance.  The  folios  from  the  monkishlibrarieswere 
piled  up  as  breastworks,  the  pictures  from  churches 
or  chapels  formed  a  protection  against  the  rain, 
and  the  parcliment  leaves  torn  from  precious  manu- 
scripts defended  the  sleepers  from  the  damp  ground. 
Lannes  had  great  difficulty  in  sustaining  the  courage 
of  his  men,  and  they  were  on  the  verge  of  mutiny. 


SOULT  IN  PORTUGAL.  .     175 

Typhus  raged  in  the  town ;  the  corpses  filled  the  cel- 
lars and  choked  the  streets. 

Capitulation  at  last  became  a  matter  of  necessity. 
After  the  sacrifice  of  fifty  thousand  lives  the  brave 
defender  of  Saragossa  surrendered  the  ruins  of  the 
town.  The  French  were  moved  by  pity  when  they 
saw  some  twelve  thousand  sickly  and  starving  tatter- 
demalions, survivors  of  a  force  four  times  that  num- 
ber, limp  painfully  out  of  the  city  to  lay  down  their 
arms.  The  sieges  of  Gerona  and  Tarragona,  though 
less  well  known  in  history,  offer  similar  examples  of 
tenacity  and  courage. 

The  patriotism  and  devotion  of  the  Spaniards  were 
conspicuous  in  other  ways,  and  a  noble  example  of 
these  qualities  was  exhibited  by  the  Marquis  de  la 
Romana.  He  had  been  sent  by  ISTapoleon  to  the 
north  of  Denmark  with  the  express  purpose  of  sepa- 
rating him  as  far  as  possible  from  his  country;  but 
at  the  news  of  the  rising  of  Spain  he  embarked  with 
fourteen  thousand  men  in  English  vessels  and  landed 
in  Galicia,  where  he  was  able  to  assist  the  insurgents 
and  to  give  valuable  aid  to  the  English. 

When  l^apoleon  left  the  Peninsula  he  committed 
the  charge  of  finishing  the  war  to  his  generals,  but  it 
was  characteristic  of  them  that  thev  could  never  act 
together.  King  Joseph,  who  possessed  excellent 
moral  qualities,  was  incapable  of  commanding. 
Jourdan,  whom  Napoleon  had  attached  to  him  as 
major-general,  was  old,  and  was  despised  by  the 
young  generation  of  marshals  and  generals.  They 
gradually  acquired  the  habit  of  paying  no  attention 
to  their  superior  officers,  and  of  not  co-operating 
with  each  other.  They  received,  it  is  true,  orders 
and  directions  from  Paris  from  the  Emperor,  who 
claimed  to  regulate  their  conduct;  but  at  so  great  a 


176  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

distance  it  was  necessary  to  leave  much  to  their  own 
initiative.  By  degrees  the  same  generals,  who  in 
other  parts  of  Europe  would  carry  out  with  humble 
docility  the  orders  transmitted  by  J^erthier,  began  in 
Spain  to  act  independently.  They  conquered  and 
occupied  territory;  they  issued  edicts  and  collected 
taxes,  just  as  if  they  were  no  longer  military  chiefs, 
but  had  become  kings  in  their  own  departments. 
Soult,  especially,  conceived  the  ambition  of  creating 
for  himself  a  kingdom  and  becoming  the  equal  of 
Murat.  In  many  ways  they  anticipated  the  privi- 
leges of  royalty  and  created  a  system  of  plunder. 
Napoleon  was  perpetually  reproaching  them  with 
their  rapacity,  but  his  remonstrances  produced  no 
effect. 

Such  was  the  character  of  the  war  in  the  Peninsula 
from  the  year  1808.  It  thus  came  to  pass  that  a 
pitched  battle,  which  in  any  other  part  of  Europe 
would,  with  a  commander  like  ISTapoleon,  have  de- 
cided a  campaign,  had  no  significance  in  Spain.  The 
war  was  a  chronic  disease  which  it  was  impossible 
to  bring  to  a  head.  All  the  more  credit  is  due  to 
the  genius  and  patience  of  Wellington,  who  contrived 
to  combine  all  the  forces  which  were  opposed  to  him 
and  to  bend  them  to  his  will,  so  as  to  make  them 
eventually  the  instrument  by  which  the  power  of  iSTa- 
palcon  was  crushed. 

On  leaving  Valladolid  ISTapoleon  had  imposed  up- 
on Soult  the  duty  of  reconquering  Portugal,  in  his 
eye  a  task  of  the  utmost  importance,  because  it  would 
deprive  the  English  of  the  power  of  influencing  the 
insurrection.  Soult,  after  disposing  of  Moore's  army, 
was  to  march  watli  twenty-five  thousand  men  upon 
Oporto  and  Lisbon,  and  was  to  be  supported  by  the 
corps  of  Victor  who  was  descending  the  valley  of 


SOULT  IN  PORTUGAL.  177 

the  Tagiis.  The  French  passed  the  Minho  aiul  ob- 
tained possession  of  Chaves  on  ]\Iarch  13.  Sonlt 
advanced  upon  Oj^orto,  hy  way  of  Braga,  and  took  it 
by  storm  on  March  29.  Victor  left  Talavera  on  the 
Tagus,  and  scattered  the  guerilla  bands  of  Estre- 
madura  at  Medcllin  on  March  28,  but  he  stopped 
short  at  Merida  on  the  Guadiana.  Sebastiani,  leaving 
Madrid  for  La  Mancha,  won  the  victory  of  Ciudad 
Keal  on  March  27,  and  established  himself  in  that 
province.  If  these  generals  had  combined  to  press 
their  successes  the  cause  of  the  Spanish  patriots 
might  have  become  hopeless. 

But  all  these  victories  meant  but  little,  because 
behind  the  advance  of  the  French  armies  the  routed 
Spanish  troops  formed  themselves  again,  and  the 
guerilleros  blocked  the  advance  of  the  conquerors, 
impeded  their  progress  and  held  them  in  check. 
This  was  especially  the  case  with  Soult,  who  lingered 
in  Oporto  when  he  ought  to  have  marched  on  Lisbon, 
hoping  that  he  should  be  able  to  create  for  himself 
the  kingdom  of  ]^orthern  Lusitania.  When  ISTa- 
poleon  heard  of  his  conduct  he  said  that  he  could  only 
remember  Austerlitz. 
12 


l^g  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEK  XXX. 


TALAVEKA. 


'A  NEW  complexion  was  given  to  affairs  by  the 
disembarkation  of  Sir  Arthnr  Wellesley,  with  an 
army  of  twenty-five  thousand  English  at  Lisbon, 
on  April  22,  1809.  He  determined  immediately 
to  attack  Sonlt  and  to  drive  him  from  Oporto,  and  for 
this  purpose  collected  his  army  at  Coimbra,  and, 
while  he  advanced  along  the  direct  road  with  the 
bulk  of  his  army,  despatched  General  Hill  along  the 
coast  road  to  turn  the  right  flank  of  the  Erench. 
Soult  was  living  at  Oporto  in  a  dream  of  perfect 
security,  believing  his  position  assured.  Ear  before 
him  rolled  the  broad  and  bridgeless  river  in  flood,  and 
every  boat  upon  it  had  been  carefully  secured.  A 
barber  evading  the  sentries  had  crossed  to  the  south- 
ern side  in  a  skiff;  Colonel  Waters,  a  brave  officer, 
offered  to  go  across,  and  soon  arrived  with  some 
capacious  barges  from  the  other  bank.  The  men 
embarked,  Soult  was  surprised,  and  there  was  noth- 
ing left  for  him  but  to  retreat.  The  dusk  found  the 
British  in  possession  of  the  Erench  quarters  with 
the  incredibly  slight  loss  of  twenty  killed  and  a  hun- 
dred wounded.  So  was  Oporto  conquered  on  May  12. 
Soult  made  a  disastrous  retreat  and  was  obliged  to 
throw  his  cannon  and  baggage  down  the  ravines.  On 
May  18  the  corps  d'armee  which  had  been  detained 
for  the  conquest  of  Portugal  entered  Orense  in  the 
most  miserable  condition,  without  shoes,  and  in  tat- 


TALAVERA.  179 

tered  clothes.  Instead  of  summoning  to  his  aid  the 
corps  of  Xey,  who  was  defending  North-west  Spain 
against  the  forces  of  La  Komana,  and  again  advanc- 
ing with  renewed  strength,  he  turned  his  back  upon 
the  mountains  of  Galicia,  and  retreated  first  to 
Zamorra  and  then  to  Astorga,  without  informing 
'Ney  of  his  movements  or  plans,  and  this  although 
Napoleon  had  expressly  ordered  from  Schonbrunn 
that  the  three  corps  of  Soult,  Xey  and  Mortier  were 
to  be  joined  into  one,  the  command  of  which  was  to 
be  given  to  Soult. 

Sir  Arthur  Wellesley,  being  master  of  Portugal, 
now  determined  to  carry  the  war  into  Spain,  follow- 
ing the  valley  of  the  Tagus.  He  found  thirty-five 
thousand  Spanish  troops  under  the  command  of 
Cuesta,  who  had  been  routed  at  Medellin  by  Victor, 
but  had  since  re-formed.  Joining  Cuesta,  whom 
with  great  difficult}'  he  persuaded  to  action,  he 
marched  straight  on  Talavera,  the  headquarters  of 
Marshal  Victor,  with  an  army  of  sixty  thousand 
men.  This  threatened  Madrid,  and  King  Joseph 
exerted  himself  to  repel  the  enemy.  They  both  made 
appeals  to  Soult,  who  from  Zamorra  might  easily  have 
attacked  the  English  on  their  left  flank.  But  in- 
stead of  waiting  for  the  arrival  of  Soult,  Joseph  and 
Victor  attacked  the  English  position  on  July  27. 
For  two  davs  Wellesley  was  assailed  bv  the  united 
French  armies,  the  English  having  eighteen  thou- 
sand men  and  the  French  forty-eight  thousand,  not 
including  the  army  of  Cuesta,  for  the  English  bore 
the  whole  brunt  of  the  fighting.  The  battle  lasted 
two  days.  On  the  first  the  most  important  attack 
was  made  by  Jourdan  on  the  left;  on  the  second 
Victor  ordered  a  simultaneous  charge  along  the 
whole  of  his  front.     The  British  line  was  nearly 


1 


180  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

broken  at  tlie  centre  when  a  fierce  bayonet  charge 
hurled  the  enemj  down  the  liilL  The  English  loss 
was  very  heavy, — killed,  wounded  and  missing  num- 
bered nearly  six  thousand, — but  its  moral  effect  was 
great,  and  it  is  generally  regarded  as  an  English  vic- 
tory. When,  on  August  3,  Soult  appeared  with  a 
large  force  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Plasencia,  Wel- 
lesley  evacuated  Talavera  and  reerossed  the  Tagus, 
returning  to  the  fortress  of  Badajoz.  He  had, 
however,  with  impunity  braved  the  French  in  tlie 
very  heart  of  Spain  which  iSTapoleon  believed  that  he 
had  conquered.  Lord  Liverpool  wrote  to  him  that 
he  had  raised  the  military  rej^utation  of  England  to 
a  height  which  it  had  never  reached  since  the  cam- 
paigns of  Marlborough.  As  a  reward  he  was  raised 
to  the  peerage  as  Viscount  Wellington  of  Talavera 
and  of  Wellington  in  Somersetshire. 

J^ajwleon  held  Jourdan  responsible  for  the  ill- 
success  of  Talavera.  He  recalled  him  to  France 
and  placed  Soult  at  the  head  of  King  Joseph's  staff, 
a  step  wliich  was  not  likely  to  appease  discords.  In- 
stead of  bending  all  their  efforts  to  the  reconquest 
of  Portugal,  the  French  continued  what  they  were 
pleased  to  consider  the  occupation  of  the  province 
of  Spain.  St.  Cyr  laid  methodical  siege  to  the  strong 
places  of  Catalonia,  and  Victor  and  Sebastiani,  in 
the  south,  penetrated  as  far  as  the  Sierra  Morena 
and  kept  guard  over  the  outlets  from  that  range  of 
mountains.  The  Central  Junta  of  Seville  continued 
to  make  mistakes  which  made  them  an  easy  prey 
to  the  French.  The  capture  of  Oporto  and  the  suc- 
cess of  Talavera,  with  both  of  which  they  had  so  lit- 
tle to  do,  swelled  their  pride  in  1809  as  the  capitula- 
tion of  Baylen  had  done  in  1808.  Under  the  ad- 
vice of  La  Eomana  they  insisted  that  the  brave  but 


TALAVERA.  181 

youthful  and  inexperienced  General  Areizaga  should 
march  into  the  plains  of  La  Mancha  in  order  to  re- 
conquer Madrid.  In  vain  did  Wellington  warn 
them  not  to  venture  into  a  country  which  offered  so 
favourable  a  field  for  the  enemy's  cavalry,  and  recom- 
mended them  to  confine  themselves  to  the  defence 
of  the  forces  of  the  Sierra  Morena.  All  the  regu- 
lar troops  of  Spain  to  the  number  of  fifty  thousand 
were  placed  under  the  command  of  Areizaga,  who 
with  them  crossed  the  Sierra  Morena  and  marched 
upon  the  capital. 

He  neglected  all  reasonable  precautions,  and  only 
I'ealised  the  consequences  of  his  rashness  when  from 
the  church  tower  of  Ocaiia  he  saw  the  French  armies 
closing  round  him  under  the  command  of  Soult. 
After  a  cond^at  of  three  hours  he  was  entirely  de- 
feated, losing  five  thousand  dead  and  wounded  and 
fifteen  thousand  prisoners.  Guns,  baggage,  horses, 
and  thirty-two  standards  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
French.  The  result  of  this  waS'  that  the  French 
were  again  free  to  threaten  Portugal  either  by  Ciu- 
dad  Rodrigo  or  by  Badajoz,  and  Wellington  was 
forced  to  retire  from  that  fortress  and  take  up  a  posi- 
tion on  the  Portuguese  Tagus. 

It  would  have  been  better  for  the  French  generals 
in  Spain  if,  after  this  victory,  they  had  turned  their 
attention  to  the  defeat  of  the  English,  but  instead  of 
this  Joseph  and  Soult  undertook  the  invasion  of  An- 
dalusia. With  an  army  of  seventy  thousand  men 
they  invaded  that  province  and  entered  Cordova 
and  Granada  in  triumph.  If  they  had  acted  with 
promptness  they  might  have  surprised  Cadiz,  but 
Soult  preferred  to  occupy  Seville,  and  Joseph  made 
his  entry  into  that  important  city  on  February  1, 
1810,     The  Central  Junta  took  refuge  in  the  im- 


182  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

pregnable  position  of  Cadiz,  from  which  they  direct- 
ed an  energetic  war  against  the  Marshals  of  France. 
After  the  battle  of  Talavera  Napoleon  determined 
to  change  the  system  which  he  had  hitherto  followed 
in  Spain.  lie  became  convinced  that  the  canse  of 
his  misfortunes  lay  in  the  dispersion  of  his  forces 
and  in  having  given  too  much  power  to  Joseph,  who 
was  not  a  man  of  war.  lie  had  also  become  con- 
vinced that  it  was,  for  his  interests  to  concentrate 
his  attack  upon  the  English.  By  a  decree  dated 
February  8,  1810,  he  took  away  from  Joseph  the 
provinces  situated  to  the  north  of  the  Ebro  and 
formed  them  into  separate  military  commands. 
Three  great  armies  were  created.  The  first  was 
the  army  of  Portugal,  whose  duty  it  was  to  attack 
the  English.  Massena  was  placed  at  its  head.  Then 
came  the  army  of  the  centre  left  to  Joseph,  to  sup- 
port his  royalty  and  to  pursue  the  guerilleros.  The 
third  was  the  army  of  Andalusia,  commanded  by 
Soult.  These  measures  may  have  been  wise  from  a 
military  point  of  view,  but  they  reduced  Joseph  to 
the  position  of  a  phantom-king  and  placed  the  greater 
part  of  Spain  under  military  command.  The  pro- 
ject of  uniting  Spain  under  a  sovereign  of  the  Na- 
poleon family  was  abandoned  for  the  present. 


MASSfiNA.  183 


CHAPTER  XXXL 

MASSENA. 

The  armj  of  Portugal,  seventy  thousand  men 
strong,  divided  into  three  bodies,  came  together  at 
Salamanca  under  the  command  of  Massena,  ^ej, 
Junot,  and  Reynier  being  assigned  to  him  as  subor- 
dinate. Massena  prepared  immediately  to  march 
upon  Lisbon,  but  he  began  by  taking  possession  of 
the  frontier  fortresses  of  Ciudad  Rodrigo  and  Al- 
meida. Massena  crossed  the  frontier  of  Portugal 
on  September  16,  1810,  Wellington  retiring  before 
him  and  methodically  devastating  the  valley  of  Mon- 
dego,  so  that  the  French  army  had  to  subsist  upon  the 
bread  which  they  had  brought  with  them  from 
Ciudad  Rodrigo.  Wellington  now  took  up  a  posi- 
tion behind  Coimbra  on  the  heights  of  Busaco.  This 
is  a  range  of  precipitous  hills,  eight  miles  in  length, 
sloping  down  on  the  south  to  a  ford  on  the  Mondego 
and  connected  on  the  north  with  another  sierra  by 
a  rugged  and  impracticable  country.  The  allied 
forces,  crossing  the  !Mondego,  were  in  the  act  of  tak- 
ing up  their  position  when  the  French  under  Xey 
and  Reynier  approached  the  base  of  the  mountains. 
JSTey,  with  his  military  instinct,  saw  that  the  English 
had  not  completed  their  preparations;  he  therefore 
urged  Massena  to  attack  immediately.  But  Massena 
was  ten  miles  in  the  rear  and  did  not  reach  the  scene 
of  operations  till  midday.  The  battle  began  on 
September  27  before  daybreak.     The  French  formed 


184  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

in  five  columns  of  attack,  and  showed  the  most  re- 
markable conrage  and  agility  in  scaling  the  iron 
ridges.  But  each  column,  as  it  arrived  breathless, 
was  shattered  bv  a  withering  musketry  fire  or  hurled 
downwards  by  fierce  bayonet  charges.  The  scaling 
columns  were  also  enfiladed  by  storms  of  grape  which 
drove  along  the  face  of  the  cliffs.  The  dogged  cour- 
age of  Key  at  last  succumbed,  and  in  the  afternoon 
the  French  withdrew.  They  had  lost  five  thousand 
men  and  the  allies  thirteen  hundred.. 

On  the  following  day  Masscna  discovered  a  path 
across  the  mountains  to  the  right  which  enabled  him 
to  turn  Wellington's  position.  The  English  general 
was  forced  to  retreat  and  the  French  entered  Coim- 
bra.  On  October  10  he  was  approaching  Lisbon, 
when  to  his  great  surprise  he  was  stopped  by  a  for- 
midable line  of  earthworks  behind  which  the  Eng- 
lish army  had  entirely  disappeared.  These  were  the 
cele1)rated  lines  of  Torres  Vedras,  which  Wellington 
had  been  carefully  constructing  for  a  whole  year. 
They  stretched  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Tagus  and 
completely  enclosed  the  peninsula  on  which  Lisbon 
is  situated.  They  consisted  of  three  parallel  lines 
of  entrenchments,  of  which  all  were  strong,  and  the 
second  was  the  strongest.  Sixty-nine  works  had  been 
constructed  along  the  line  and  they  were  armed  with 
three  hundred  and  twenty  pieces  of  artillery.  Where 
there  seemed  a  possibility  of  the  fortifications  being 
forced,  redoubts  at  right  angles  were  thrown  up  to 
the  rear  to  sweep  the  advancing  columns  with  a 
flanking  fire.  The  length  of  the  lines  as  the  crow 
flies  was  twenty-five  miles.  Hills  had  been  scarped, 
streams  had  been  diverted  to  swamp  the  low-lying 
country,  bridges  had  been  broken  down  or  mined 
and  signalling  could  be  conducted  by  a  system  of 


MASSENA.  185 

telegraphs.  It  is  strange  that  the  French,  with  their 
many  friends  and  partisan's  in  Lisbon,  were  left  in 
absolute  ignorance  of  these  preparations,  and  that 
nothing  should  have  been  known  about  them  at  Paris. 
Massena  only  heard  accidentally  of  their  existence 
from  a  peasant.  s 

Massena  waited  before  the  lines  for  a  fortnight, 
and  then  made  up  his  mind  for  the  assault,  but  Ney 
refused  to  obey  both  his  verbal  and  his  written  or- 
ders. Even  if  these  fortifications  could  have  been 
captured  at  first,  each  day  added  to  their  strength. 
Massena  was  deeply  disappointed.  He  had  made  a 
rapid  march  to  Lisbon,  which  he  hoped  would  have 
driven  the  English  to  their  ships,  but  he  found  him- 
self in  front  of  a  fortified  camp,  impregnable  to 
storm,  and  never  to  be  reduced  by  blockade.  He  was 
also  suffering  from  hunger,  as  he  had  wasted  the 
stores  taken  at  Coimbra  and  Leiria.  Trant  had 
seized  on  Coimbra  with  the  sick  and  wounded  in  the 
hospitals  and  the  garrison  left  for  their  protection. 
Massena  was  obliged  to  retreat  and  retired  to  San- 
tarem  on  the  Tagus,  where  he  established  his  head- 
quarters. The  army  of  Portugal  was  reduced  to 
forty  thousand  men. 

Soult  was  for  a  long  time  ignorant  of  the  position 
of  Massena,  but  it  is  possible  that  he  might  have 
assisted  him  if  he  had  been  so  dij?posed.  He  content- 
ed himself  with  covering  the  frontiers  of  Andalusia, 
by  besieging  Badajoz,  which  he  took  on  March  12, 
1811.  Wellino'ton  now  retired  to  the  frontier  of 
Spain  and  laid  siege  to  Almeida,  while  he  sent  Beres- 
ford  to  the  south,  towards  Badajoz,  to  hold  Soult  in 
check.  Massena  was  not  willing  to  sacrifice  Alme- 
ida without  a  struggle;  he  therefore  returned  and 
attacked  Wellington  on  May  3  at  Fuentes  d'OHoro. 


186  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

This  village  lies  in  a  valley  with  hills  on  either  side, 
and  the  road  to  Ciudad  Kodrigo  passes  through  the 
main  street.  On  one  side  was  a  morass  and  a  woodj 
which  prevented  approach,  and  the  village  afforded 
many  opportunities  of  cover.  The  attack  on  May 
3  was  repulsed,  but  on  the  following  day  Massena 
came  up  in  person.  The  French  were  greatly 
superior  in  numbers,  but  the  English  made  a  gallant 
resistance.  The  carnage  went  on  till  darkness  put 
an  end  to  the  conflict,  and  both  sides  claimed  a  vic- 
tory. But  there  is  little  doubt  that  the  English  were 
very  glad  not  to  be  attacked  for  the  third  time,  which 
would  probably  have  been  the  case  if  Massena  had 
not  been  superseded  at  this  critical  moment  by 
Marmont.  Massena  returned  to  France  in  disgrace. 
Almeida  now  surrendered,  and  the  army  of  Por- 
tuoal  retired  to  Salamanca.  In  the  meantime  Beres- 
ford  was  advancing  to  the  relief  of  Badajoz.  Soult 
advanced  to  drive  him  back  into  Portugal,  and  a  bat- 
tle between  them  took  place  at  Albuera  on  May  11. 
Beresford's  position  was  a  ridge  four  miles  in  length 
traversing  the  Seville  road,  with  the  river  of  Albuera 
in  front  and  the  ravines  of  a  hill  torrent  behind. 
Soult  attacked  with  great  energy  and  the  Spanish 
allies  of  Beresford  were  of  more  hindrance  than 
use.  The  entire  defeat  of  the  English  was  prevented 
by  the  daring  action  of  Colonel  Hardinge,  who  on 
his  own  responsibility  ordered  up  a  division  and  a 
brigade  which  had  not  yet  been  brought  into  action, 
and  redeemed  the  fortunes  of  the  day.  Out  of  six 
thousand  English  all  l)ut  tAvo  thousand  had  been 
killed  or  wounded.  Wellington  wrote  to  Beresford 
privately :  "  Such  another  battle  would  ruin  us.  I 
am  labouring  to  set  all  right  again."  * 


SALAIklANCA.  187 


CHAPTER   XXXIL 


SALAMANCA. 


Marshal  Marmont  on  arriving  to  take  command 
of  the  army  of  Portngal  found  it  in  a  very  bad  con- 
dition. He  recognised  that  it  wonld  be  nseless  to 
attempt  the  reconqnest  of  Portngal  or  to  make  an 
attack  upon  Lisbon.  He  therefore  contented  himself 
with  keeping  guard  over  the  frontier,  to  preserve 
Spanish  territor^^  from  the  invasion  of  Wellington 
and  his  lieutenants.  His  first  success  was  in  pre- 
serving the  frontier  fortress  of  Badajoz  from  the  on- 
slaught of  Wellington  and  Beresford,  and  he  showed 
his  good  sense  by  hastening  to  the  assistance  of  Soult. 
The  result  of  this  unwonted  co-operation  between  two 
marshals  was  that  the  siege  of  Badajoz  was  raised 
and  that  communication  between  the  two  armies 
of  Andalusia  and  Portugal  was  secured  by  the  forti- 
fied post  of  Almaraz  on  the  Tagus.  Driven  from 
Badajoz,  Wellington  attacked  Ciudad  Rodrigo,  but 
Marmont  effected  a  junction  between  his  own  army 
and  the  armv  of  the  Xorth,  that  is,  the  divisions  of 
Galicia  and  the  Asturias.  Wellington  surrendered 
the  enterprise  for  the  moment  and  retired  into  Por- 
tugal without  accepting  battle.  The  Portuguese 
frontier  was  defended  by  French  cavalry.  Although 
Marmont  had  not  shown  much  energy  in  attack  he 
had  at  least  conducted  a  gallant  and  successful  de- 
fence. 

The  best  results  in  the  Peninsula  had  up  to  the 


188  WARS  OF  THE  CEXTUEY. 

present  been  obtained  by  Marshal  Suchet  in  the  East. 
Alone  of  Xapoleon's  marshals  he  succeeded  in  estab- 
lishing a  real  domination  over  the  regions  he  had  con- 
quered. Having  reduced  Catalonia,  he  undertook 
the  subjection  of  the  kingdom  of  Valencia.  Xa- 
poleon,  not  unnaturally,  favoured  his  enterprise  and 
withdrew  troops  from  Andalusia  and  Portugal  for 
the  war  in  Valencia,  though  it  would  have  been 
undoubtedly  wiser  to  have  directed  all  his  efforts 
to  the  defeat  of  Wellington.  The  important  city 
of  Valencia  fell  into  Suchet's  hands  on  January  9, 
1812. 

This  last  date  strikes  a  note  of  ill-omen  for  France. 
The  year  1812  witnessed  the  expedition  to  Russia 
in  which  the  resources  of  the  Empire  were  strained 
to  the  utmost.  Xapoleon  was  obliged  to  recall  from 
Spain  some  of  his  best  troops  and  some  entire  de- 
pots. In  consequence  of  tliis  he  was  obliged  to 
change  the  position  of  liis  coi'ps  d'armee  and  to 
assign  to  them  new  duties.  Wellington  profited  by 
these  circumstances  to  the  full  in  order  to  recom- 
mence his  attacks.  Besides  this  there  was  a  condi- 
tion of  mortal  hatred  between  Soult  and  Marmont 
which  prevented  them  from  acting  together.  Inex- 
cusable as  is  the  invasion  of  Russia  from  all  points 
of  view,  to  undertake  it  until  the  English  army  had 
been  forced  to  retreat  from  the  Peninsula  was  an  act 
of  incredible  rashness. 

Wellington  laid  siege  to  Ciudad  Rodrigo  on 
January  8,  1812,  and  captured  it  on  January  10. 
He  then  turned  his  attention  to  Badajoz.  He  had 
hoped  to  have  invested  it  in  the  early  days  of  ]\rarch, 
when  the  flooding  of  the  northern  rivers  -would  have 
assisted  him,  but  no  means  of  transport  were  avail- 
able  to   move   the   siege   trains   and   supplies   from 


SALAMANCA.  189 

Elvas  to  Badajoz.  The  fortress  in  the  meantime 
had  been  made  extremely  formidable.  Redoubts 
and  earthworks  had  been  thrown  up  and  heavily 
armed,  there  was  abundance  of  provisions,  but  the 
annnunition  was  scanty.  Ground  was  broken  on 
March  17,  and  the  work  was  carried  on  with  great 
difficulty  and  heavy  losses.  On  the  morniiig  of 
April  5  the  breaches  were  pronounced  practicable, 
and  there  was  great  excitement  as  to  the  result,  for 
Soult  was  kno^\^l  to  be  approacliing. 

The  storm  of  Badajoz  on  April  6  forms  one  of  the 
most  thrilling  chapters  in  military  history.  The 
commandant,  Philli2:)on,  had  strengthened  the  for- 
tress in  every  manner  which  skill  and  ingenuity  could 
suggest.  As  the  clock  struck  ten  at  night  the  assault 
on  the  breaches  began.  The  stormers  crowded  to  the 
edge  of  the  glacis  and  lowered  their  ladders  into  the 
ditch.  When  they  had  descended  the  silence  was 
broken  by  a  solitary  shot  from  the  ramparts.  In  an 
instant  the  whole  glacis,  which  had  been  mined,  was 
exploded,  and  the  ditch,  which  had  been  paved  with 
shells,  belched  forth  its  hideous  artillery.  The  heads 
of  the  storming  columns  were  absolutely  annihilated, 
and  the  French  stood  on  the  breaches  watching  the 
deadly  scene.  But  the  alarm  of  the  stormers  changed 
to  frenzied  anger,  and  they  swarmed  up  the  breaches. 
Here  they  found  that  the  broken  parapets  had  been 
strengthened  with  sandbags  and  fascines  and  that  the 
breach  had  been  closed  up  by  chevaux  de  frise  of 
sword-plates,  socketed  in  solid  oak  and  secured  by 
chains.  Those  who  were  first  impaled  on  these  dead- 
ly weapons  made  a  path  for  the  rest.  At  the  same 
time  the  breaches  were  defended  by  a  storm  of  shot, 
both  in  front  and  on  the  flank.  The  stormers,  re- 
pelled by  the  pitiless  cross-fire,  retired  to  the  ditch 


190  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

and  refused  to  renew  the  assault.  In  the  meantime, 
however,  Picton  had  been  able  to  take  the  castle  by 
escalade,  and  Walker  had  stormed  a  bastion  at  the 
other  extremity  of  the  town ;  the  carrison  therefore 
abandoned  the  defence  of  tlie  breaches.  The  English 
obtained  the  fortress,  but  at  a  loss  of  five  thousand 
dead  and  wounded. 

This  double  success,  so  easily  obtained,  revealed 
to  Wellington  the  weakness  of  the  French.  He 
therefore  determined,  for  the  first  time  since  1809, 
to  attempt  a  direct  invasion  of  Spain.  He  advanced 
by  the  basin  of  the  Douro,  having  the  Pyrenees  for 
his  objective,  and  for  his  purpose  the  severing  of  the 
Spanish  armies  from  their  base  of  operations.  The 
French  army  in  the  Peninsula  still  consisted  of  two 
hundred  thousand  men,  and  in  command  of  this  large 
force  Napoleon  placed  his  brother  Joseph,  who  again 
received  Jourdan  as  an  adviser.  Still,  the  French 
armies  were  scattered  in  Castile,  in  Valencia  and  in 
Andalusia,  and  it  was  hardly  to  be  expected  that 
the  marshals  who  had  so  long  enjoyed  an  independent 
position  would  suddenly  obey  a  King  whom  their 
Emperor  had  so  often  treated  with  contempt.  Mar- 
mont,  who  was  posted  in  Leon,  with  Salamanca  as 
his  base  of  operations,  with  fifty  thousand  men  to 
guard  the  country  between  the  Douro  and  the  Tagus, 
was  the  only  marshal  who  preserved  cordial  relations 
with  the  King;  whereas  Soult  in  Seville  and  Suchet 
in  Valencia  paid  no  attention  to  commands  coming 
from  Madrid.  Caffarelli,  who  commanded  in  the 
Basque  provinces,  openly  declared  that  he  should 
obey  no  orders  except  those  which  were  sent  from 
Paris.  These  differences  were  accentuated  by  the  as- 
tuteness of  the  English  commander-in-chief,  who 
succeeded  in  making  Soult  believe  that  Andalusia 


SALAMANCA.  191 

was  the  object  of  attack,  whereas  his  efforts  were 
directed  to  the  isolation  of  Marmont. 

Wellington  crossed  the  Agueda  and  entered  Spain 
on  June  13,  1812,  with  an  army  of  fifty-five  thousand 
men,  comi)Osed  of  English,  Spaniards  and  Portu- 
guese. After  several  days'  march,  in  the  highest 
spirits,  through  a  delightful  country,  the  allies  lit 
their  bivouac  fires  in  front  of  Salamanca,  Marmont 
having  evacuated  the  city  on  the  previous  day.  Wel- 
lington was  welcomed  in  the  town  with  passionate 
demonstrations  of  devotion.  The  streets  and  squares 
were  decorated  with  flags  and  flowers  and  illuminated 
after  nightfall.  The  general  rode  to  his  quarters, 
with  the  crowd  cheering  and  the  women  fall- 
ing on  their  knees  and  kissing  his  stirrups.  The 
dread  of  surrendering  again  this  grateful  city  to  the 
enemy  may  have  induced  him  to  offer  immediate 
battle.  But  having  possession  of  the  town  it  was 
necessary  that  he  should  take  the  forts  and  hold 
them,  for  his  position  was  extremely  precarious,  as, 
if  he  had  been  beaten  and  thrown  back  upon  Eastern 
Castile,  he  would  have  been  crushed  between  the 
armies  of  Marmont  and  Joseph.  Marmont  had  ap- 
parently no  desire  to  fight  a  pitched  battle,  but  did 
his  best  to  manoeuvre  Wellington  into  a  retreat. 

The  forts  held  out  for  ten  days,  and  every  day 
Marmont  was  raising  reinforcements.  After  a 
month's  wearisome  delay  Wellington  heard  at  last  on 
July  16  that  Marmont  had  suddenly  marched  upon 
the  Douro  and  was  forming  troops  across  the  river. 
He  rejoiced  at  the  news,  but  he  was  in  a  dangerous 
position ;  his  left  was  turned  and  Marmont  had  got 
a  fair  start  for  Salamanca.  If  he  could  reach  it  be- 
fore the  allies  he  would  seize  upon  the  road  to  Ciudad 
Rodrigo.     Although  both  armies  must  fight  in  a  flank 


192  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

position,  everjthing  was  staked  upon  the  battle,  and 
defeat  to  either  would  be  irretrievable  disaster. 
]\Iannont,  however,  changed  his  plans  and  the  issues 
became  less  critical. 

At  last  the  battle  which  we  call  Salamanca  and 
the  French  Arapiles  was  fought  on  July  23.  The 
Arapiles  are  two  isolated  hills  rising  from  the  high 
uj)land  of  the  battle-field,  one  of  which  was  in  the 
possession  of  the  English  and  the  other  of  the  Trench. 
Marmont  had  been  manceuvring  all  the  morning,  and 
had,  in  attempting  to  reach  the  road  which  led  to 
Ciudad  Eodrigo,  separated  his  left  from  his  centre. 
Wellington  threw  his  columns  into  the  gap ;  Mar- 
mont tried  to  retrieve  the  error,  but  did  not  see  the 
third  division  of  the  English  which  was  advancing 
amongst  the  hills.  Just  at  the  critical  moment  Mar- 
mont was  struck  down  by  a  shell  which  shattered  his 
arm  and  inflicted  other  grievous  wounds.  Bonnet, 
who  succeeded  him,  suffered  a  similar  fate,  and  the 
command  devolved  on  Clausel,  one  of  the  youngest 
marshals.  He  made  heroic  efforts  to  redeem  the 
day,  which  were  nearly  successful,  and  withdrew  his 
armv  after  the  defeat  with  consummate  skill.  The 
effects  of  the  battle  were  decisive,  for  the  French  had 
lost  six  thousand  men,  and  they  were  felt  elsewhere 
than  in  Spain.  The  news  of  the  defeat  of  Sala- 
manca reached  Napoleon  on  the  Moskva,  the  night  be- 
fore the  battle  of  Borodino,  and  this  to  some  meas- 
ure accounts  for  his  inertness  during  its  continuance 
and  his  sluggishness  in  following  it  up. 

After  the  battle  of  Salamanca  the  army  of  Portu- 
gal retreated  on  Burgos,  and  it  is  possible  that  if 
Wellington  had  pursued  it  with  energy  he  might 
have  driven  it  into  the  Pvrenees.  But,  under  the 
influence  of  political  motives,  he  turned  aside  to  enter 


SALAMANCA.  193 

Madrid  as  conqueror.  He  was  received  rather  as  a 
god  than  as  a  mortal :  he  was  created  a  Grandee  of 
Spain  of  the  first  class,  Duke  of  Ciudad  Rodrigo, 
and  was  invested  with  the  command  of  the  Spanish 
armies.  While  Wellington  had  made  this  triumphal 
entry  on  August  12,  King  Joseph  had  taken  refuge 
in  Valencia  amongst  the  soldiers  of  Suchet.  But 
Soult,  urged  at  last  to  action,  left  Andalusia  and 
joined  the  forces  of  King  Joseph  and  Suchet.  The 
French  were  now  in  sufficient  strength  to  recover 
possession  of  the  capital. 
13 


194  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XXXIII. 

VITTORIA. 

On  September  1  Wellington  left  Madrid  to  pursue 
the  army  of  Clausel,  which  was  retiring  on  the  line 
of  the  Ebro.  Clausel  exhibited  remarkable  capacity 
in  his  retreat,  and  Wellington  did  not  care  to  attack 
him.  Burgos  was  occupied  on  September  17,  Mar- 
mont  having  only  left  it  a  few  days  before,  but  this 
also  had  to  be  evacuated.  Although  the  city  was  aban- 
doned, tlie  castle  was  garrisoned  by  eighteen  hundred 
soldiers  under  Dubreton,  a  general  of  rare  skill  and 
determination.  Wellington  thought  that  it  could  not 
hold  out  long,  for  it  was  a  fortress  of  the  third  order, 
and  was  commanded  by  some  heights  to  the  east- 
ward within  short  gun-range,  but  it  eventually  suc- 
ceeded in  baffling  all  his  efforts.  Four  assaults  were 
successively  delivered  upon  it,  but  they  were  all  fruit- 
less. Officers  and  men  began  to  feel  that  they  were 
engaged  in  a  liopeless  task,  and  they  even  lost  con- 
fidence in  their  general.  The  rain  had  fallen  in  tor- 
rents, swamping  the  trenches  and  parallels;  the  gar- 
rison also  had  been  extremely  active,  breaking  out 
into  furious  sorties,  which  were  only  repulsed  with 
severe  loss.  After  the  defences  had  been  breached 
in  a  third  place,  a  fifth  and  final  assault  was  de- 
livered, but  was  as  disastrous  as  the  others  had  been. 
Wellington  therefore  determined  to  retreat,  and  re- 
tired first  on  the  Douro  and  then  to  Salamanca. 

On  Xovember  2  King  Joseph  again  entered  his 


VITTORIA.  195 

capital.  He  formed  the  army  of  Portugal  by  the 
valley  of  the  Douro,  and  was  now  in  command  of  an 
army  of  eighty-five  thousand  men.  He  advanced 
with  this  force  against  Wellington,  whom  he  found 
on  the  battle-field  of  Arapiles,  where  the  fortunes  of 
the  previous  disaster  might  have  been  retrieved.  The 
blame  of  failure  is  rightly  or  wrongly  laid  on  Soult, 
who  is  said  to  have  lost  a  day  by  his  sluggishness 
and  timidity.  It  is  possible  that  he  had  no  desire  to 
hazard  an  engagement.  However  that  may  be,  at  the 
moment  of  projected  attack  thick  fog  and  heavy  rain 
threw  a  curtain  between  the  French  and  English 
armies,  and  when  the  veil  was  lifted  Wellington  was 
nowhere  to  be  seen.  His  retreat  was  full  of  miseries, 
but  he  safely  reached  the  walls  of  Ciudad  Rodrigo, 

The  catastrophe  of  Is'apoleon  in  Russia,  which  has 
been  narrated  in  previous  chapters,  deprived  the  ar- 
mies of  Spain  of  all  hope  of  reinforcement,  and  the 
Emperor  was  also  obliged  to  recall  a  large  number  of 
officers  and  seasoned  soldiers  to  fill  up  the  gaps  which 
had  been  made  in  his  armies  in  Germany.  He 
ordered  the  concentration  of  his  forces,  which  re- 
mained in  the  Peninsula,  in  the  North  and  the 
Centre,  the  evacuation  of  Madrid  and  the  trans- 
ference of  the  capital  to  Valladolid.  He  recalled 
Soult,  entrusting  future  operations  to  King  Joseph 
and  to  Jourdan  as  chief  of  the  staff.  These  measures 
were  the  best  that  could  be  adoj^ted  under  the  circum- 
stances, but  unfortunately  Clausel  was  detached  with 
a  considerable  force  to  put  down  the  guerilla  bands 
in  the  north  of  Spain.  Wellington  took  full  ad- 
vantage of  these  circumstances.  In  May,  1813,  the 
whole  number  of  combatants  for  the  Spanish  cause 
under  arms  amounted  to  two  hundred  thousand  men, 
and  the  force  directly  under  Wellington  himself  con- 


196    '  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

sisted  of  seventy  thousand  English  and  Portuguese, 
while  the  flank  of  the  land  forces  was  covered  by 
English  fleets.  The  effective  fighting  forces  of  the 
French  armies  may  be  eetimated  at  one  hundred  and 
ten  thousand.  Wellington  crossed  the  Spanish 
frontier  on  Mav  20,  and  marched  first  on  Salamanca 
and  then  on  Valladolid. 

Joseph  considered  himself,  without  the  aid  of 
Clausel's  division,  too  w^eak  to  oppose  Wellington  at 
Valladolid,  and  therefore  retired  first  to  Burgos 
and  then  to  Miranda,  finally  taking  up  a  position 
on  the  plain  of  Vittoria.  At  this  town  converge  the 
three  great  roads  leading  from  Bilbao,  Pamplona, 
and  Bayonne.  Here,  too,  were  crowded  together  the 
army  trains  and  stores,  the  w^ounded,  the  women  and 
children  and  all  the  plunder.  The  French  were 
formed  in  three  lines  behind  the  Zadora,  Clausel  was 
at  Logroiio,  about  thirty  miles  distant,  and  King 
Joseph  sent  him  urgent  messages  to  come  up,  but  be- 
fore he  could  arrive  the  battle  was  over  and  lost. 

The  battle  began  at  daybreak  on  June  21,  like  so 
many  of  the  battles  wdiicli  we  have  narrated,  in  a 
dense  mist.  Hill  on  the  English  right  stormed  the 
heights  of  Puebla  and  occupied  them ;  Wellington 
took  charge  of  the  centre,  and  on  the  left  Graham  was 
advancing  by  the  road  from  Bilbao  and  was  opposed 
by  Reille.  When  Wellington  saw  that  the  French 
centre  vjas  weakened  by  their  having  detached  troops 
to  oppose  Hill,  he  made  a  vigorous  attack  in  tlie 
centre  with  Picton  and  the  third  division.  The 
French  made  a  stubborn  resistance,  but  their  posi- 
tion was  turned  on  the  left  and  they  were  obliged 
to  fall  back,  crowding  together  in  confusion,  A 
panic  ensued  and  gun  after  gun  was  lost ;  Reille  still 
held   his   own,   but   he   w^as    isolated    and   in   great 


VITTORIA.  197 

danger.  The  road  to  Irun  and  Bayonne  was  blocked 
by  waggons  and  fugitives  and  the  flight  was  directed 
towards  Pamplona.  The  victory  was  complete  and 
the  French  lost  about  five  thousand  killed  and 
wounded  and  eight  thousand  prisoners.  Clausel, 
marching  up  too  late  towards  the  scene  of  conflict, 
nearly  fell  a  prey  to  the  victorious  army.  He  was, 
however,  able  to  escape  and  retired  into  Catalonia 
to  cover  the  retreat  of  Suchet.  This  general  was 
compelled  to  evacuate  Valencia,  which  he  had  con- 
quered with  such  distinction,  and  after  garrisoning 
the  fortress  to  withdraw  his  troops  gradually 
across  the  Ebro. 

Spain  was  now  entirely  recovered  from  the 
French.  Joseph  was  recalled  to  France  in  disgrace 
and  placed  under  arrest  in  his  country-house  of  Mor- 
fontaine,  whilst  Soult  was  despatched  to  the  South 
to  reorganise  the  defeated  armies,  lie  took  up  a 
position  along  the  River  Nive,  from  St.  Jean  Pied- 
de-Port  to  Bayonne.  Wellington  was  in  no  hurry 
to  cross  the  French  frontier,  but  undertook  the  siege 
of  St.  Sebastian,  which  was  one  of  the  most  im- 
portant operations  of  the  war.  He  did  not  gain  pos- 
session of  it  till  the  last  day  of  August.  Then  en- 
sued a  series  of  struggles  between  Soult  and  Wel- 
lington in  the  defiles  of  the  Pyrenees  which  are  too 
complicated  to  be  described  in  detail.  One  incident, 
however,  is  too  picturesque  to  be  omitted.  Soult 
was  advancing  to  relieve  Pamplona,  when  Welling- 
ton galloped  into  the  village  of  Sauroren.  The 
French  cavalry  followed  him  into  the  village,  and  he 
had  scarcelv  time  to  save  himself  and  to  reach  his 
troops.  The  two  armies  were  confronted  on  ojDpos- 
ing  heights,  and  the  generals  were  so  near  to  each 
other  that  Wellington  could  distinguish  the  figure 


198  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

and  even  the  features  of  his  opponent.  When  the 
soldiers  knew  that  their  commander  was  on  the  field, 
lond  cheers,  taken  up  by  regiment  after  regiment, 
rang  along  the  line.  Wellington  said :  "  Soult  is 
a  great  commander,  but  a  cautious  one,  and  he  will 
dela}^  his  attack  to  ascertain  the  meaning  of  these 
cheers ;  that  will  give  time  for  the  sixth  division  to 
come  up  and  I  shall  beat  him."  The  event  justified 
the  prophecy;  Pamplona  surrendered  to  Wellington 
on  the  last  day  of  October. 

Before  this  date  Wellington  had  crossed  the 
Eidassoa,  and  on  the  evening  of  October  9  the  allied 
armies  were  established  in  cantonments  in  France; 
the  ]S[ivelle  was  traversed  about  a  month  later. 
Wellington  now  advanced  into  France  and  fought  the 
battle  of  Orthez  on  February  27,  1814,  and  thus 
commanded  the  road  to  Bordeaux,  which  was  entered 
by  the  English  on  March  12.  Ten  days  later  King 
Ferdinand  VII.,  restored  by  N'apoleon  to  the  throne 
of  his  ancestors,  set  his  foot  once  more  upon  Span- 
ish soil  and  the  Peninsular  war  was  at  an  end. 


PART  SEVEN. 

THE  AVAR  OF  1814. 


CHAPTER  XXXIV. 


THE  LION  AT  BAY. 


After  the  disastrous  campaign  of  Russia  !Xa- 
poleon  had  still  great  resources  left,  and  he  was  only 
contending  against  one-half  of  Europe,  but  after  the 
battle  of  Leipzig  he  could  only  depend  upon  him- 
self, and  the  whole  of  Europe  was  in  arms  against 
him.  Xothing  was  left  of  the  Grand  Army  except 
a  few  fragments,  mere  phantoms  of  corps  d'armee 
and  divisions,  which  made  no  attempt  to  defend  the 
frontier  of  the  Rhine.  Along  the  course  of  that 
river,  between  Basle  and  Cologne,  were  posted  Mar- 
mont  with  twelve  thousand  men,  Macdonald  with 
twelve  thousand,  Victor  with  seven  thousand,  'Nej 
with  seven  thousand,  as  w^ell  as  about  nine  thousand 
cavalry.  Belgium  was  held  by  a  body  of  fifteen 
thousand  troops.  The  frontier  of  the  Jura  was  un- 
defended and  was  falling  a  prey  to  the  allied  forces. 
In  Italy  Prince  Eugene  had  (piite  enough  to  do  in 
defending  himself  against  the  attacks  of  the  Aus- 
trians;  Soult,  as  we  have  seen,  was  being  pressed 

199 


200  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

back  by  Wellington  into  the  south  of  France,  l^ot 
only  had  the  gigantic  empire  of  Napoleon  vanished 
like  a  dream,  but  the  frontiers  which  France  had 
acquired  after  the  Kevolution  were  being  assaulted 
by  half  a  million  enemies. 

France  had  no  energy  to  resist  these  invasions. 
She  had  not  only  been  exhausted  by  the  demands  so 
incessantly  made  upon  her,  but  the  iron  will  of  her 
sovereign  had  broken  her  own  resolution,  she  had 
lost  the  power  of  initiative,  and  could  no  longer 
oppose  to  attack  the  fire  of  patriotism  or  the  stub- 
born spirit  of  independence.  The  only  moral  qual- 
ity which  remained  to  her  was  that  of  resignation. 
It  is  possible  that  the  allies  still  overrated  the 
strength  of  their  great  antagonist,  or  it  may  be  that 
they  hoped  for  the  conclusion  of  peace  on  the  basis 
of  Franco  retaining  her  natural  frontiers  of  the 
Rhine,  the  Alps  and  the  Pyrenees,  and  giving  up 
all  claims  to  influence  in  Germany,  Holland,  Italy 
and  Sjjain.  At  any  rate  their  forces  advanced  very 
slowly  after  the  battle  of  Leipzig,  and  it  was  not 
till  December  21,  1813,  that  the  army  of  Schwarzen- 
berg  crossed  the  Rhine  by  the  bridge  of  Bale,  nor 
till  January  1,  1814,  that  the  army  of  Bliicher 
passed  the  same  river  between  Mainz  and  Cologne. 
The  object  of  the  armies  of  Bohemia  and  Silesia  was 
to  march  upon  the  capital  of  France.  The  strength 
of  the  two  united  was  two  hundred  and  fifty  thou- 
sand men. 

After  his  return  to  Paris  IsTapoleon  had  worked 
with  all  the  resources  of  his  energy  and  his  genius 
to  repel  this  invasion.  He  had  called  up  all  the 
soldiers  he  could  lay  his  hands  upon  as  far  back  as 
the  conscription  of  1805,  and  had  anticipated  the 
conscription  of    1815.     He    had    established    new 


THE  LION  AT  BAY.  201 

"  cohorts  "  of  national  guards,  had  recalled  troops 
from  Spain,  and  thus  had  collected  together  a  force 
which  showed  on  paj)er  as  five  hundred  thousand. 
But  he  could  hardly  expect  that  his  orders  would  be 
literally  carried  out.  The  two  months'  breathing- 
space  allowed  him  after  Leipzig  was  not  sufficient  to 
drill  these  conscripts,  nor  even  to  collect  them  to- 
gether. He  was  badly  supplied  with  money,  cloth- 
ing, arms  and  all  material  of  war.  The  conscripts, 
when  they  arrived  at  the  dep(3ts,  had  but  scanty  uni- 
forms or  none  at  all,  many  were  dressed  in  blouses 
and  wooden  shoes,  and  these  poor  children,  inex- 
perienced and  uninstructed,  merely  food  for  the 
enemy's  cannon,  in  spite  of  the  courage  and  devotion 
which  they  often  exhibited,  went  by  the  name  of 
"  Marie-Louises." 

In  the  darkness  of  all  these  difficulties  flamed  the 
bright  star  of  the  genius  of  ITapoleon  himself.  As 
he  had  been  before  led  from  victory  to  victory  by 
his  good  fortune,  so  now  did  the  greatest  qualities 
of  his  mind  and  character  seem  to  derive  strength 
from  the  presence  of  ill  fortune,  stimulated  to  great- 
er efforts  by  the  ever-present  feeling  that  he  was 
defending  the  soil  of  his  country  against  the  pollu- 
tion of  an  invading  foe.  Commanding  a  few  veter- 
ans and  a  few  recruits,  he  thought  to  supply  the  de- 
ficiency by  his  personal  qualities,  by  the  rapidity 
of  his  movements,  by  the  wise  application  of  means 
to  ends,  by  readiness  to  profit  by  the  smallest  division 
amongst  the  enemy  and  by  the  discovery  of  new  re- 
sources. Thus  the  campaign  of  1814  is  scarcely  less 
brilliant  than  the  campaign  of  1796 ;  his  setting  like 
his  rising  sun  was  attended  by  the  gorgeous  hues 
of  victory.  But  the  forces  of  nature,  which  are 
more  powerful  than  those  of  war,  which  were  on 


202  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

his  side  in  Italy,  were  now  opposed  to  him  in 
France ;  it  was  impossible  to  contend  successfully 
against  an  overwhelming  fate. 

The  army  of  Schwarzenberg,  two  hundred  thou- 
sand strong,  marched  into  France  by  Besangon, 
Langres  and  Chaumont ;  Bliicher,  with  fifty  thou- 
sand men,  advanced  through  Lorraine  to  Vassy 
and  St.  Dizier.  Their  design  was  to  join  their 
forces  and  then  to  march  upon  Paris  by  the  valleys 
of  the  Marne  and  the  Seine.  They  had  gradually 
driven  back  before  them  the  small  armies  of  Victor, 
N^ey,  and  Marmont,  and  on  January  27  Bliicher 
reached  Brienne  with  thirty  thousand  men  in  order 
to  join  Schwarzenberg,  who  had  arrived  at  Bar-sur- 
Aube,  about  ten  miles  distant.  To  protect  Paris 
Mortier  was  stationed  at  Troyes  with  fifteen  thou- 
sand men,  while  at  Chalons  were  collected  about 
forty  thousand  under  the  command  of  Victor,  Ney, 
Marmont,  and  Macdonald.  Thus  when  iSTapoleon 
arrived  at  Chalons  he  found  himself  at  the  head  of 
fifty-five  thousand  men.  The  Marie-Louises,  who 
came  in  gradually  afterwards,  did  not  double  the 
number,  and  the  Imperial  army  never  at  any  time 
contained  more  than  ninetv  thousand  combatants. 

The  plan  of  ISTapoleon  was  to  attack  Bliicher,  who 
had  the  smaller  army,  before  he  could  join  Schwar- 
zenberg, and  for  this  purpose  marched  from  Chtd- 
ons  to  Saint  Dizier,  and  from  Saint  Dizier  to 
Brienne,  in  the  valley  of  the  Aube,  where  he  came  up 
with  the  Prussian  marshal.  After  a  spirited  en- 
gagement he  drove  the  Prussians  from  Brienne,  but 
they  retreated  towards  Bar-sur-Aube,  where  Schwar- 
zenberg was  posted,  so  that  he  would  have  to  fight 
against  both  armies  united,  which  together  quad- 
rupled his  own.     Instead  of  retiring  he  established 


THE  LION  AT  BAY.  203 

himself  at  La  Rothiere  and  on  the  hills  surround- 
ing Brienne.  The  Austrian  army  had  already 
moved  forward  to  meet  Bliicher,  and  on  February 
1  the  small  forces  of  Napoleon  were  attacked  by  at 
least  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  of  the  enemy, 
who  outflanked  him  on  both  sides,  and  tried  to  thrust 
him  into  the  Aube.  After  a  struggle  of  eight  hours 
La  Rothiere  remained  in  the  hands  of  the  allies.  Na- 
poleon had  lost  six  thousand  men  and  fifty-four  guns, 
and  M^as  obliged  to  retreat,  first  to  Troyes  and  after- 
wards to  Nogent-sur-Seine.  The  allies  thought  that 
the  campaign  was  at  an  end  and  the  officers  ex- 
pected to  be  dining  in  a  week's  time  in  the  garden 
of  the  Palais  Royal. 

In  a  council  of  war  held  in  the  chateau  of 
Brienne  on  February  2  the  invaders  determined  to 
march  immediately  on  Paris,  and  for  this  purpose 
divided  their  forces  into  two  parts,  Bliicher  ad- 
vancing to  Chalons,  where  he  was  to  receive  rein- 
forcements, and  then  by  the  valley  of  the  Marne ; 
Schwarzenberg  by  Troyes  and  the  valley  of  the 
Seine.  Bliicher  showed  that  he  well  merited  the 
name  of  "  Marshal  Forwards."  He  pressed  on  with 
all  speed,  hoping  to  arrive  at  Paris  before  Schwar- 
zenberg. The  consequence  of  this  Avas  that  his 
troops  were  distributed  over  a  very  long  line.  On 
February  9  Yorck  was  at  Chateau  Thierry  with 
eighteen  thousand  men,  Sacken  at  Montmirail  with 
twenty  thousand,  Olsuvief  at  Champaubert  with  six 
thousand,  whereas  Bliicher  with  his  eighteen  thou- 
sand men  had  not  got  further  than  Etoges. 

Napoleon  was  carefully  following  from  Nogent- 
sur-Seine  the  movements  of  the  army  of  Silesia,  and 
on  February  7  he  despatched  Marmont  to  Sezanne 
and  joined  him  there  two  days  later.     As  he  had 


204:  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

left  the  corps  of  Victor  and  Oudinot  on  the  Seine  he 
had  with  liim  onlv  a  bodv  of  twenty-five  thonsand 
men.  He  marched  bv  the  road  from  Sezanne  to  Eper- 
nay,  which  passes  by  Champaubert  and  would  bring 
liini  right  upon  the  flank  of  the  Russians.  He  attacked 
them  on  the  following  day  and  almost  entirely  anni- 
hilated them,  only  fifteen  hundred  escaping.  Vt\; 
this  action  the  army  of  Bliicher  was  cut  completely 
in  two,  and  Xapoleon  had  the  choice  of  turning  to 
the  right  on  Bliicher  himself  or  to  left  upon  his 
lieutenants.  He  determined  upon  the  latter  course. 
He  left  Marmont  at  Champaubert  to  keep  Bliicher 
in  check,  and  marched  upon  the  corps  of  Sacken  at 
jMontmirail.  Sacken  fought  bravelv,  but  was  en- 
tirely  defeated  with  the  loss  of  four  thousand  men. 
Xapoleon  then  on  February  12  marched  against  the 
division  of  Yorck  at  Chtiteau  Thierry.  This  in  its 
turn  was  beaten  and  driven  behind  the  Ourcq  with 
the  loss  of  three  thousand  men.  Thus  in  three  days 
the  Emperor  had  scattered  the  greater  number  of 
Bliicher's  troops  to  the  winds  and  had  reopened  his 
communications  with  Paris.  He  now  turned  upon 
Bliicher  himself,  who  was  ignorant  of  what  had 
occurred.  He  was  advancing  from  Etoges  to  Mont- 
mi  rail,  and  Marmont  was  retiring  slowly  before 
him.  Suddenly  Marmont  turned  round  and  at- 
attacked  him  as  he  came  out  of  Vauchamps.  Then  be- 
hind the  troops  of  Marmont,  Bliicher  saw  the  Im- 
perial guard  advancing  and  the  cry  of  "  Vive  I'Em- 
pereur!  "  uttered  by  ten  thousand  throats  came  upon 
him  like  a  clap  of  thunder.  Obedient  to  his  old 
caution  he  determined  to  retreat  and  did  so  at  first 
in  good  order.  But  Grouchy  made  a  desperate  charge 
upon  this  mass  of  men  with  three  thousand  five  hun- 
dred  cavalry,   cut   them   down,    and  huddled   them 


THE  LION  AT  BAY.  205 

up  in  confusion.  Bliiclier  retired  in  disorder  Avitbi 
the  loss  of  six  thousand  men,  the  French  loss  being 
only  six  hundred. 

The  intention  of  jSTapoleon  had  been  to  pursue 
Bliicher  to  Chalons,  complete  the  destruction  of  his 
armv,  and  then  move  backwards  to  Vitrj,  thus  threat- 
ening the  rear  of  the  army  of  Bohemia.  But  he  heard 
that  Schwarzenberg  had  driven  back  the  forces  of 
Victor  and  of  Oudinot,  and  was  threatening  Paris. 
Jomini  had  indeed  advised  the  allies  to  march  on 
Paris,  but,  disconcerted  by  the  fate  of  Bliicher,  they 
determined  to  "  wait  for  the  development  of  the 
manoeuvres  of  the  Emperor  l^apoleon."  The  ])lan 
of  these  manoeuvres  was  formed  on  the  battle-field 
of  Vauchamjis.  On  February  14  the  army  of  Bo- 
hemia was  much  scattered,  Wittgenstein  was  at 
Provins,  Wrede  at  Xangis,  the  Wiirtembergers  at 
Montereau,  and  the  reserve  between  Bray  and  ISTo- 
gent.  I^apoleon  on  February  14  and  15  marched 
first  back  towards  Meaux  and  then  south  to  Guignes, 
where  he  joined  his  two  marshals,  Victor  and  Oudi- 
not, and  brought  his  numbers  up  to  sixty  thousand 
men.  On  February  17  he  fell  upon  the  enemy  and 
drove  them  first  on  Mornant  and  then  on  Nangis ; 
he  then  sent  Oudinot,  Macdonald,  and  Victor  in  three 
directions  to  push  the  enemy  before  tliem,  ordering 
the  last  to  occupy  the  bridge  of  Montereau,  which 
however  he  failed  to  do.  On  February  18  ISTapoleon 
hastened  to  repair  this  error  and  forced  the  Wiir- 
tembergers into  Montereau,  occupying  the  famous 
bridge,  by  which  he  hoped  to  reach  the  army  of 
Schwarzenberg.  The  Austrians,  however,  thought 
it  prudent  to  retire  to  Troyes. 

On  February  22  the  grand  army  of  the  allies  was 
arranged  in  order  of  battle,  its  right  on  the  Seine, 


^ 


20d  wars  of  the  century. 

its  left  on  the  village  of  St.  Germain.  It  was  too 
late  for  the  Emperor  to  attack  it,  because  all  his 
troops  had  not  arrived,  but  he  had  great  hopes  for  the 
morrow.  True,  the  allies  were  one  hundred  and 
fifty  thousand  and  the  French  seventy  thousand, 
but  they  were  demoralised  by  their  defeat  and  had 
a  river  at  their  back.  Bliicher  could  not  come  up 
in  less  than  twentv-four  hours,  and  in  that  time 
Schwarzenberg  would  have  been  beaten.  Unfor- 
tunately for  Xapoleon  the  Austrians  were  of  the 
same  opinion,  and  did  not  care  to  sacrifice  a  mag- 
nificent army  to  the  glory  of  France.  So  on  the  fol- 
lowing  day,  at  five  o'clock  in  the  mornins:,  they  re- 
treated  to  Bar-sur-Aube,  sending  propositions  for  an 
armistice.  On  February  24  iSTajDoleon  entered 
Troyes,  where  he  was  received  with  the  greatest  en- 
thusiasm. On  February  26  the  general  position  of 
the  armies  was  as  follows:  J^apoleon  at  Troyes  com- 
manded between  the  Seine  and  the  Aube  a  force  of 
seventy-four  thousand  men  and  three  hundred  and 
forty  guns;  the  great  army  of  the  allies,  reduced  to 
two  hundred  and  thirty  thousand  men,  was  retiring 
before  him  to  Chaumont  and  Lanores.  On  his  left 
Bliicher  with  fortv-eiiiht  tliousand  men  was  under- 
taking  a  dangerous  flank  march,  being  held  in  check 
by  Marshals  Marmont  and  ]\Iortier  with  sixteen  thou- 
sand men,  with  the  risk  of  being  attacked  in  his  rear 
by  the  Emperor  himself.  On  the  right  of  Xapoleon, 
General  Allix  defended  the  line  of  the  Yonne  with 
two  thousand  soldiers,  and  was  raising  the  peasants 
of  the  surrounding  country.  Every  day  Paris  sent 
fresh  supplies  both  of  men  and  guns;  the  national 
guards  were  organising  themselves  in  the  prov- 
inces, and  the  peasants  were  beginning  a  guerilla 
Avarf^re.     In  the  South  Augereau  with  twenty-seven 


THE  LION  AT  BAY.  207 

thousand  men  had  begun  to  take  the  offensive  against 
the  twenty  thousand  men  of  Bubna  and  Lichten- 
stein.  Augereau  had  express  orders  to  occupy  a 
position  between  Bale  and  Langres  so  as  to  cut  off 
Schwarzenberg's  retreat.  The  possibility  of  this 
catastrophe  caused  continual  disquiet  to  the  Austrian 
general,  and  made  him  fear  that  the  situation  of 
affairs  might  at  any  time  undergo  a  sudden  change. 


208  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEK  XXXV. 

SOISSONS  AND  LAON. 

The  success  of  the  French  arms  at  this  time  was 
confined  to  Champagne,  and  the  enemy  was  slowly 
advancing  on  other  points  of  the  frontier.  In  Bel- 
gium General  Maison  with  his  small  body  of  fifteen 
thousand  men  was  obliged  to  retire  before  the 
Duke  of  Saxe- Weimar  with  thirty  thousand,  sup- 
ported by  the  army  of  the  Xorth  under  Bernadotte. 
Antwerp,  commanded  by  the  famous  Carnot,  was  be- 
sieged. In  the  Pyrenees,  Marshal  Soult,  with  fifty 
thousand  conscripts,  was  no  match  foi'  the  eighty 
thousand  soldiers  of  Wellington.  His  gradual  retreat 
has  already  been  narrated.  In  Italy,  Prince  Eu- 
gene was  holding  his  own  with  difiiculty  against  the 
Austrians  on  the  Adige.  After  La  Rothiere  the 
Emperor  thought  of  recalling  him,  but  his  subse- 
quent victories  made  him  change  his  determination 
and  Eugene  remained  in  Italy.  On  the  other  hand, 
Marshal  Sucliet  was  in  command  of  fifteen  thousand 
men  in  Spain ;  who,  after  the  ratification  of  the 
treaty  of  Valengay,  would  be  available  for  service 
in  France. 

Under  the  pressure  of  tlie  victories  of  Xapoleon 
the  allies  formed  some  important  resolutions  at 
Bar-sur-Aube  on  February  25.  They  determined 
that  Bllicher  should  resume  his  march  on  Paris  by 
way  of  Meaux,  and  that  he  should  be  supported  by 


SOISSONS  AND  LAON.  209 

the  corps  of  Biilow  and  Winzingerode,  both  of  them 
forming  part  of  the  army  of  the  North,  which  now 
began  to  enter  upon  the  scene.  Also  to  support 
Bubna  they  gave  orders  for  a  new  corps  to  enter 
Switzerland  under  the  command  of  the  Prince  of 
Hesse,  to  neutralise  the  efforts  of  Augereau.  These 
two  determinations  were  of  the  utmost  importance, 
and  indeed  eventually  decided  the  issue  of  the  cam- 
paign in  favour  of  the  allies. 

As  soon  as  the  plan  of  action  had  been  decided 
upon  Bliicher  put  himself  in  motion  to  proceed  from 
the  Aube  to  the  Marne,  inclining  slightly  towards 
the  north  to  meet  the  reinforcements  which  he  had 
been  told  to  expect.  Marmont  and  Mortier  did 
their  best  to  hold  him  in  check,  but  they  were  forced 
to  retire.  On  February  28  he  crossed  the  Marne 
at  La  Ferte-sous-Jouarre,  while  the  two  French  mar- 
shals retired  behind  the  Ourcq,  which  they  held 
against  the  advancing  Prussians.  Bliicher  on  reach- 
ing the  right  bank  of  the  Marne  found  no  traces 
either  of  Biilow  or  of  Winzingerode,  and  he  soon 
learnt  that  he  would  be  attacked  by  Xapoleon  in 
person. 

The  Emperor  had  desisted  from  the  pursuit  of 
the  Austrians  on  February  26,  leaving  forty  thou- 
sand men  on  the  Aube  under  the  command  of  Oudi- 
not  and  Macdonald.  Setting  out  from  Troyes  on 
February  27,  he  reached  Sezanne  on  the  following 
day  and  arrived  at  La  Ferte-sous-Jouarre  on  March 
2,  with  an  army  of  thirty-five  thousand  fighting  men. 
If  Bliicher  had  not  taken  the  precaution  to  destroy 
the  bridge  across  the  Marne,  the  army  of  Silesia 
would  have  been  destroyed.  But  h3  was  now  able 
during  the  next  two  days  to  cross  the  Ourcq  and  to 
retire  upon  the  Aisne.  His  soldiers  were  iu  the 
14 


210  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

worst  extremity  of  fatigue  and  misery.  In  seventy- 
two  hours  they  had  fought  three  battles  and  made 
three  night  marches ;  they  had  received  no  regular 
supply  of  provisions  for  a  week.  Some  of  the 
cavalry  had  not  unsaddled  for  ten  days,  the  horses 
were  in  a  terrible  condition,  the  artillery  stuck 
hopelessly  in  the  muddy  roads,  and  quantities  of 
ammunition  had  to  be  abandoned.  The  infantry 
marched  barefooted  and  in  rags,  carry iug  rusty  mus- 
kets, grumbling  against  their  generals. 

There  were  two  bridges  across  the  Aisne  in  these 
parts,  one  at  Soissons  and  one  at  Berry-au-Bac,  but 
the  fortified  town  of  Soissons  was  held  by  a  French 
garrison.  iSTapoleon  moved  in  the  direction  of 
Fismes,  hoping  to  intercept  the  passage  at  Berry-au- 
Bac,  that  of  Soissons  being  already  closed.  If  he 
could  succeed,  Bliicher  would  have  to  fight  a  battle 
under  the  worst  possible  conditions,  which  could 
only  result  in  complete  disaster.  But  the  unex- 
pected happened.  Winzingerode,  instead  of  march- 
ing to  Oulcliy  to  join  Bliicher,  had  undertaken  the 
siege  of  Soissons  with  the  hope  of  gaining  posses- 
sion of  that  important  bridge.  There  was  but  little 
chance  of  the  town  surrendering.  Indeed,  the  siege 
was  on  the  point  of  being  raised,  when  suddenly  the 
commandant  of  the  place,  an  old  soldier  without 
energy,  lost  his  head  at  the  first  sound  of  the  enemy's 
guns  and  capitulated  after  twenty-four  hours'  invest- 
ment. Hardly  was  the  ink  of  the  convention  dry 
when  the  cannon  of  the  Emperor  were  heard  on  the 
banks  of  the  Ourcq.  Thus  was  all  the  fruit  of  ISTa- 
poleon's  brilliant  manoeuvres  lost.  Bliicher  crossed 
the  Aisne  safely  on  March  5  and  retreated  towards 
Laon. 

The  rage  of  the  Emperor  at  this  cowardly  act  of 


SOISSONS  AND  LAON.  211 

treason  may  well  be  imagined.  He  wrote  to  Clarke, 
the  Minister  of  War :  "■  The  enemy  was  in  the  great- 
est embarrassment,  and  we  were  hoping  to  reap  the 
fruit  of  several  days  of  labour,  when  the  treason  or 
stupidity  of  the  commandant  of  Soissons  delivered 
this  fortress  to  him.  Arrest  this  miserable  wretch, 
and  the  members  of  the  council  of  defence,  bring  them 
before  a  court-martial  composed  of  generals,  and,  in 
God's  name,  have  them  shot  in  the  Place  de  Greve 
in  twenty-four  hours.  It  is  time  that  example  should 
be  made." 

Napoleon  now  crossed  the  Aisne  by  the  bridge  of 
Berry-au-Bac,  hoping  to  reach  Laon  before  Bliicher. 
The  Prussian  Marshal,  wishing  to  attack  the  Em- 
peror on  the  march,  occupied  the  plateau  of  Craonne 
with  thirty  thousand  men,  and  it  was  necessary  for 
Napoleon  to  dislodge  them  before  he  marched  on  to 
the  city.  This  gave  occasion  to  the  battle  of  Craonne, 
fought  on  March  7,  1814.  The  Kussians  were 
drawn  up  in  three  lines  on  the  grand  plateau,  which 
could  only  be  reached  by  difficult  defiles.  During 
several  hours'  conflict  the  French  troops  were  not 
able  to  attain  the  plateau,  until  at  length  the  Rus- 
sian lines  were  broken  by  the  artillery  of  Davout. 
Bliicher  now  perceived  that  a  cavalry  charge,  which 
he  had  prepared  with  the  design  of  dealing  the 
French  a  decisive  blow,  could  not  be  made  with  suc- 
cess, and  he  ordered  the  retreat  of  the  Russians  from 
the  plateau.  The  battle  was  therefore  undecided, 
and  was  certainly  not  a  victory  for  Napoleon,  be- 
cause the  allies  were  able  to  carry  out  their  original 
intention  of  retiring  to  Laon. 

The  city  of  Laon,  crowned  by  its  cathedral,  is  a 
natural  fortress  which  dominates  the  surrounding 
plain,     Bliicher  established  himself  there  strongly 


212  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

and  Napoleon  endeavoured  to  dislodge  him,  hoping 
in  this  way  to  prevent  the  advance  to  Paris.  He 
therefore  attacked  the  advance  posts  of  the  army  of 
Silesia,  towards  the  south,  on  March  9,  and  ordered 
Marmont  to  make  a  similar  attack  upon  the  east. 
Marmont  did  not  arrive  on  the  ground  till  late  in 
the  day,  and  with  some  difficulty  established  himself 
at  Athies.  He  left  his  troops  there  for  the  night, 
going  himself  to  sleep  at  the  chateau  of  Eppes,  some 
three  miles  oif. 

In  the  evening  the  best  soldiers  of  Marmont, 
wearied  by  eight  hours  of  march  and  four  of  battle, 
were  dis2;)ersed  looking  for  food  in  the  neighbouring 
farms,  while  the  larger  number,  paralysed  by  cold 
and  weakened  by  hunger,  were  sleeping  like  sheep 
in  a  pen,  round  the  bivouac  fires.  At  seven  o'clock 
the  Prussians  penetrated  into  the  village,  and  find- 
ing the  troops  in  their  first  sleep  cut  them  to  pieces 
without  resistance.  In  the  meantime  Kleist  at- 
tacked in  another  direction  with  cries  of  "  Hurrah ! 
Hurrah !  "  Gunners  were  killed  at  their  posts,  and 
the  guns  were  carried  off  already  loaded.  Simul- 
taneously there  was  a  third  attack  of  seven  thousand 
Prussian  cavalry.  Marmont,  aroused  from  his 
sleeping-place,  arrived  on  the  scene,  but  could  do 
nothing,  and  it  was  only  by  the  heroic  efforts  of 
Colonel  Fabier  that  the  rout  was  converted  into  a 
retreat.  On  the  following  day  the  corps  of  Marmont 
reached  Berry-au-Bac,  but  only  one- third  of  his 
troops  answered  to  the  roll-call ;  seven  hundred  had 
been  killed  or  wounded,  and  two  thousand  five  hun- 
dred had  been  made  prisoners.  Only  eight  pieces  of 
artillery  escaped  capture. 

JSTotwithstanding  the  destruction  of  Marmont'a 
corps,  which  made  his  plan  impossible  to  execute, 


SOISSONS  AND  LAON.  213 

Napoleon  still  continued  to  threaten  Laon,  hoping 
to  intimidate  Bllicher  into  a  retreat ;  but  the  marshal 
was  too  sure  of  his  position  to  be  frightened  in  this 
manner.  All  the  attempts  of  the  French  to  dislodge 
a  vastly  superior  body  of  the  enemy  from  extremely 
strong  ground  proved  fruitless,  and  they  at  length 
retired  to  Soissons,  having  lost,  altogether,  more 
than  six  thousand  men,  killed,  wounded  and  taken 
prisoners,  while  the  loss  of  the  allies  had  only  been 
about  half  that  number.  The  check  of  iSTapoleon  at 
Laon  was  the  first  consequence  of  the  council  of  war 
at  Bar-sur-Aube.  Augereau  had  been  compelled  to 
stop  his  movements  from  Lyons  towards  the  Jura, 
because  the  army  of  the  Prince  of  Hesse  had  beaten 
the  French  at  Poligny  on  March  4,  and  Augereau 
had  withdrawn  his  forces  in  the  direction  of  Lyons. 
It  will  be  remembered  that  when  Napoleon  set 
out  in  pursuit  of  the  army  of  Bllicher  he  had  left  be- 
hind him  the  corps  of  Macdonald  and  Oudinot. 
These  were  immediately  attacked  by  Schwarzenberg, 
and  were  beaten  at  Vernonf ays,  upon  which  they  re- 
tired to  Troyes.  They  did  not  stay  there  long,  but 
retreated  first  to  iSTogent  and  then  to  Provins,  so  that 
Schwarzenberg  was  again  upon  the  Seine.  The  im- 
portant town  of  Rheims  also  had  been  captured  by 
a  body  of  Russians  under  the  command  of  Saint 
Priest,  a  lieutenant  of  Langeron.  As  soon  as  Na- 
poleon heard  of  this  he  gave  orders  for  Marmont 
to  advance  upon  Rheims.  He  sent  ISTey  there  also, 
and  left  Soissons  in  person  for  the  same  place  at  day- 
break on  March  13.  Saint  Priest  could  hardly  believe 
that  he  was  being  attacked  by  the  French,  whom 
he  supposed  to  be  a  long  way  off.  The  Emperor  ar- 
rived at  Rheims  at  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
and  immediately  gave  orders  for  the  assault.      Saint 


2U  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Priest  soon  recognised  by  the  number  of  the  enemy 
and  by  the  vigour  of  the  attack  that  Napoleon  was 
present  in  person.  He  immediately  began  to  give 
orders  for  the  retreat,  but  was  mortallv  wounded 
by  a  fragment  of  shell  which  shattered  his  shoul- 
der. The  battle  continued  during  the  night,  but  the 
Russians  were  eventually  defeated  and  Napoleon 
gained  possession  of  the  town,  thus  establishing  him- 
self on  the  lines  of  communication  of  both  the  hos- 
tile armies. 


I 


ARCIS-SUR-AUBE.  215 


CHAPTER  XXXVI. 


ARCIS-SUR-AUBE. 


When  Kapoleon  set  out  to  follow  Bliiclier  on 
February  27,  he  had  formed  the  whole  plan  of  cam- 
paign in  his  mind.  He  intended  to  crush  the  army 
of  Silesia,  and  to  drive  it  beyond  the  upper  waters 
of  the  Oise,  then  to  collect  the  garrisons  of  the  for- 
tresses in  the  north-east,  and  to  return  with  ten  thou- 
sand sabres  and  forty  thousand  bayonets  to  the  rear 
of  the  Grand  Army  of  the  allies,  which  was  opposed 
in  front  by  Macdonald,  and  harassed  on  its  left 
flank  by  Augereau.  But  everything  had  turned 
against  him.  Bliicher  had  been  saved  by  the  capitu- 
lation of  Soissons,  and  the  stubborn  resistance  of 
the  army  of  Silesia  at  Craonne,  and  at  Laon,  as 
well  as  the  retreat  of  Macdonald  on  Provins,  and  of 
Augereau  on  Lyons,  rendered  this  whole  scheme 
impossible.  But  the  capture  of  Rheims  brought  his 
original  project  to  the  mind  of  the  Emperor.  He 
thought  that  it  would  be  possible  to  surprise  Schwar- 
zenberg  in  his  operations,  defeat  one  or  two  of  his 
divisions,  and,  when  the  Grand  Army  was  in  retreat, 
march  upon  Lorraine. 

Between  March  11  and  16  Schwarzenberg  had 
driven  the  troops  of  Macdonald  from  Xogent  to  Pro- 
vins and  from  Provins  to  Xangis,  but  when  he  heard 
of  the  capture  of  Rheims  he  had  stopped  his  advance 
and  begun  his  retreat  anew,  being  afraid  of  a  move- 
ment   of    Xapoleon    on    his    communications.     He 


216  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

wrote  on  March  12 :  "I  have  no  news,  and  I  mnst 
confess  that  I  treml^le.  If  Bliicher  is  defeated, 
can  I  risk  a  battle  mvself  ?  for  if  I  am  conquered, 
what  a  trinmph  for  Xapoleon,  and  what  hnmiliation 
for  the  sovereigns  to  have  to  recross  the  Rhine  at  the 
head  of  a  conquered  army!"  On  Marcli  17  Xa- 
poleon  was  still  hesitating  as  to  whether  he  should 
join  Macdonald  and  meet  the  enemy  face  to  face,  or 
whether  he  should  march  to  Troyes  in  order  to  fall 
upon  the  flank  or  rear  of  the  allies.  The  first  plan  was 
in  his  opinion  the  safer,  but  he  chose  the  second  be- 
cause it  was  the  bolder.  Before  setting  out  he  sent 
orders  to  Marmont  and  Mortier  to  use  every  effort 
to  keep  Bliicher  behind  the  Aisne ;  if  he  did  not  suc- 
ceed in  this  they  were  to  retire  towards  Paris,  disput- 
ing every  position  on  the  road.  They  had  with  them  a 
force  of  twentv-five  thousand  men :  Mortier  was  in- 
vested  with  the  command,  but  the  Emperor  had  more 
confidence  in  Marmont. 

On  Thursday,  March  17,  the  Emperor  left 
Rheims  with  his  old  guard,  that  moving  citadel,  as 
Houssaye  calls  it,  which  was  always  attached  to  his 
steps,  and  on  the  evening  of  the  same  day  he  slept 
at  Epernay.  The  next  morning  starting  early,  he 
continued  his  march  southwards,  towards  Fere- 
Champenoise,  whilst  Xey  was  proceeding  from 
Chalons  to  ]\railly,  along  a  parallel  road  to  the  east. 
The  headquarters  of  the  allies  was  now  at  Troyes, 
and  they  were  in  great  confusion  and  embarrass- 
ment. Sehwarzenberg  was  divided  between  two  ob- 
jects, to  hold  back  Macdonald  on  his  front,  and  to 
engage  Xapoleon  on  his  flank;  he  consequently  spread 
his  army  over  a  semicircle  of  eighty  miles.  The 
Emperor  Alexander,  seeing  the  danger  of  this  ar- 
rangement, insisted  on  an  alteration,  and  gave  orders 


ARCIS-SUR-AUBE.  217 

which  implied  a  retreat  upon  Bar-siir-Aube. 
Schwarzenberg  passed  from  the  heights  of  confidence 
to  the  depths  of  pnsillanimitj.  At  1  p.m.  he  was 
holding  Macdonald  behind  the  Seine,  and  fighting 
a  battle  with  N^apoleon  between  the  Marne  and  the 
Aube;  at  8  p.m.  he  left  all  this  ground  open  to  his 
adversaries,  and  retreated  thirty  miles  with  an  army 
of  one  hundred  thousand  before  an  army  of  fifty 
thousand. 

Napoleon  was,  not  unnaturally,  ill-informed  of  the 
situation.  He  believed  that  the  great  army  was  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  Seine  fighting  with  Macdonald ; 
he  therefore  determined  to  march  straight  on  to 
Arcis-sur-Aube  and  to  traverse  its  rear.  But  arriv- 
ing at  Fere-Champenoise,  he  heard  of  Schwarzen- 
berg's  retreat  and,  changing  his  plans,  prepared  to 
cross  the  Aube  at  Boulages  and  the  Seine  at  Mery, 
Ney  at  the  same  time  making  a  parallel  march.  ISTa- 
poleon  met  with  so  little  resistance  at  the  passage  of 
these  rivers  that  he  became  convinced  that  the  Grand 
Army  was  retiring  by  forced  marches  on  Brienne  or 
Bar-sur-Aube.  This  confirmed  his  opinion  that  the 
safest  plan  he  could  adopt  would  be  to  march  towards 
the  garrisons  of  Lorraine  and,  collecting  all  available 
troops,  throw  himself  on  the  rear  of  the  allies  with 
an  army  of  ninety  thousand  men.  For  this  purpose 
he  determined  to  march  on  Vitry-le-Frangois  and 
to  close  the  road  which  passed  by  Arcis-sur-Aube. 
On  the  morning  of  March  20  he  wrote  to  the  Minis- 
ter of  War :  "  My  moveinent  has  been  perfectly  suc- 
cessful. I  shall  nesiect  Troves  and  march  with  all 
haste  upon  my  fortresses ;  "  and  again :  "  I  am  start- 
ing for  Vitry."  He  contemplated  as  a  possibility 
the  capture  of  Paris,  feeling  that  all  measures  of 
security  had  been  taken,  and  that  wherever  his  head- 


218  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

quarters  were,  there  was  the  capital  of  the  Em- 
pire. 

It  happened,  from  some  reason  which  has  not  been 
sufHcientlv  explained,  that  Schwarzenberg  was  on 
March  19  seized  with  an  access  of  energy,  and  sud- 
denly determined  to  stop  his  retreat  and  to  engage 
Napoleon.  Consequently  on  the  following  day  the 
first  columns  of  the  allies  fell  unexpectedly  on  the 
French  positions  at  Areis  and  Torcy,  situated  on 
either  side  of  the  Aube,  and  drove  them  back  in  great 
confusion.  jSTapoleon,  galloping  up,  restored  order 
at  great  personal  risk.  Finding  that  his  troops  were 
fleeing  pell-mell  over  the  bridge,  he  rode  to  the  end 
of  it,  faced  the  fugitives,  and  cried  in  a  voice  of  thun- 
der :  "  Wlio  will  dare  to  cross  the  bridge  before  me  ?  " 
At  another  time  when  even  the  firmness  of  the  guard 
seemed  to  waver,  he  rode  his  horse  close  up  to  a  shell 
and  remained  till  it  exploded.  The  horse  was  killed, 
but  the  Emperor  was  uninjured.  None  of  the  '"  bear- 
skins "  could  show  terror  after  that. 

Night  put  an  end  to  the  conflict.  For  the  space 
of  eight  hours  the  French  had  held  their  ground, 
under  a  terrible  fire  of  artillery,  first  seven  thousand 
five  hundred  against  fourteen  thousand,  then  thir- 
teen thousand  against  twenty  thousand,  and  at  last 
sixteen  thousand  against  twenty-five  thousand,  and 
they  had  not  lost  an  inch  of  ground.  During  the 
whole  of  this  time  Napoleon  believed  that  he  was 
en£:ao;ed  onlv  with  a  detachment  of  the  Grand  Armv, 
and  therefore  determined  to  continue  the  battle  on 
the  following  day.  But  he  very  soon  discovered 
that  the  whole  of  the  army  of  Bohemia  was  before 
him,  and  that  it  Avas  no  good  to  struggle  any  longer 
with  twenty-seven  thousand  men  against  one  hundred 
thousand.     He  therefore  retired  by  the  bridge  of 


ARCIS-SUR-AUBE.  210 

Arcis.  The  allies  attacked  the  town,  but  every  street 
and  every  house  was  defended,  and  by  the  time  they 
gained  possession  of  it  the  passage  of  the  Aube  was 
secured. 

After  the  two  battles  of  Arcis-sur-x\ube  jSTapoleon 
continued,  with  more  boldness  tlian  prudence,  his 
march  towards  the  fortresses  of  Lorraine  and  upon 
the  communications  of  the  allied  armies.  On  the 
afternoon  of  March  23  he  entered  St.  Dizier,  which 
lies  between  the  two  routeswhieli  the  armies  of  Bliicher 
and  Schwarzenberg  had  followed  from  Strasburg 
and  Bale.  He  had  no  doubt  that  the  Grand  Army 
would  return  and  fight  him,  but  until  he  knew  which 
route  it  would  follow,  he  was  reduced  to  inaction. 
Schwarzenberg  was  equally  ignorant  of  the  direction 
of  Napoleon's  march,  and  also  waited  for  informa- 
tion. Suddenly  an  intercepted  despatch  gave  the 
allies  the  light  which  they  desired.  A  council  of 
war  was  held  at  Pougy  on  March  23,  and  opinions 
were  much  divided.  Some  were  in  favour  of  a  re- 
treat, others  were  in  favour  of  abandoning  the  com- 
munication with  Switzerland  and  marching  on  Cha- 
lons to  approach  the  army  of  Bliicher.  This  im- 
portant resolution  was  eventually  adopted,  although 
Schwarzenberg  stigmatised  it  as  rash. 

Intercepted  despatches  had  determined  the  march 
on  Chillons;  information  of  a  similar  character  was 
to  produce  even  more  important  results.  This  was 
contained  in  letters  from  high  functionaries  of  the 
Empire,  describing  the  exhaustion  of  the  treasury, 
the  arsenal  and  the  magazines  and  the  growing  dis- 
content of  the  population.  Schwarzenberg  had  not 
paid  much  attention  to  these  despatches,  and  having 
opened  communications  wnth  Bliicher,  was  now  pre- 
paring to  pursue  Napoleon  with  the  two  armies  unit- 


220  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

ed.  But  tlie  letters  made  a  great  impression  on  the 
mind  of  the  Emperor  Alexander,  and  he  spent  a 
sleepless  night  in  their  contemplation.  The  King 
of  Prnssia  and  Schwarzenberg  had  already  left  in 
pursnit  of  Napoleon,  but  Alexander  remained  be- 
hind at  Sommepuis.  He  summoned  his  Russian 
generals  to  his  presence  and  asked  them :  "  I^ow  that 
onr  commnnications  with  Bliicher  are  re-established, 
ought  Ave  to  continue  the  pursuit  of  ISTapoleon,  or 
should  we  march  directly  on  Paris  ?  "  Barclay  de  Tol- 
ly was  strongly  in  favour  of  continuing  the  pursuit ; 
Diebitsch  was  in  favour  of  dividing  the  army  into 
two  portions,  one  to  pursue  ]^apoleon,  the  other  to 
march  on  Paris — a  fatal  suggestion.  At  hearing  this 
Barclay  cried :  "  There  is  only  one  thing  to  be  done 
under  our  present  circumstances — to  march  on  Paris 
as  quickly  as  possible  with  all  our  forces,  and  to  send 
ten  thousand  cavalry  against  jSTapoleon  to  mask  our 
movement."  Diebitsch  then  followed  on  the  same 
side.  Barclay  was  at  length  convinced,  and  the 
Tsar  mounted  his  horse  to  join  Schwarzenberg. 
After  an  hour's  ride  he  came  up  with  him  between 
Sommepuis  and  Vitry.  The  sovereigns  and  the  gen- 
erals held  an  improvised  council  of  war  at  the  side  of 
the  road.  Alexander  having  explained  his  scheme, 
the  King  of  Prussia  strongly  approved  of  it,  but 
the  Austrians  still  vigorously  opposed.  At  length, 
with  great  reluctance,  Schwarzenberg  gave  his  ad- 
hesion to  this  new  plan  of  campaign,  and  it  was 
agreed  that  on  the  following  day,  Friday,  March 
25,  the  two  united  armies  should  begin  their  advance 
upon  the  capital,  whilst  Winzingerode  should  follow 
ISTapoleon  in  the  direction  of  St.  Dizier,  and  do  his 
best  to  make  him  believe  that  he  was  being  pursued 
by  the  whole  army  of  the  Coalition. 


THE  CAPTURE  OF  PARIS.  221 


CHAPTEE  XXXVII. 

THE    CAPTURE    OF    PARIS. 

Ox  March  25  the  two  armies  begau  their  inarch  on 
Paris  with  a  body  of  two  hundred  thousand  mt-n. 
On  the  same  day  they  came  into  conflict  with  the 
troops  of  Marshals  Marmont  and  Mortier  at  Fere- 
Champenoise,  which  they  drove  back  after  some  re- 
sistance. On  the  same  day  also,  a  little  to  the  north, 
some  thousands  of  national  guards,  who  were  escorted 
by  a  large  convoy  of  a  hundred  artillery  waggons 
and  eighty  other  vehicles,  with  munitions  of  war 
and  two  hundred  thousand  rations  of  bread  and 
brandy,  were  attacked  by  the  army  of  Silesia,  de- 
fended themselves  with  heroic  courage,  and  rather 
than  surrender  suffered  themselves  to  be  des- 
troyed to  a  man.  The  Emperor  of  Russia,  who  wit- 
nessed the  close  of  the  engagement,  never  forgot  the 
lesson  which  it  taught.  The  two  marshals  continued 
their  retreat  towards  Paris,  making  a  long  detour 
by  Provins,  in  order  to  avoid  their  advancing  foes. 
The  allies  marched  up  to  the  outskirts  of  the  capital 
without  meeting  any  resistance  except  that  of  a  small 
body  commanded  by  Compans,  who  disputed  their 
ground  foot  by  foot  for  three  days  from  Meaux  to 
Pantin.  On  the  evening  of  March  29  the  allies  en- 
camped before  Paris. 

We  left  Xapoleon  at  St.  Dizier,  waiting  for  news 
of  the  march  of  his  enemies.  On  March  25,  being 
Btill  ignorant  of  their  advance  upon  Paris,  but  hear- 


222  WARS  OF  THE  ?:;ENTURY. 

iug  that  Bar-sui'-Aube  and  Troyes  had  been  evacu- 
ated, he  decided  to  occupy  these  towns,  in  order  more 
effectually  to  intercept  their  communications,  and 
moved  for  that  purpose  to  Doulevant,  some  twelve 
miles  to  the  south ;  but  hearing  that  some  Austrian 
cavalrv,  the  one  hundred  thousand  men  of  Win- 
zingerode,  had  shown  themselves  in  the  direction  of 
St.  Dizier,  he  returned  and  dispersed  them.  They 
left  in  his  hands  two  thousand  prisoners  and 
eighteen  guns,  and  lost  five  hundred  men  killed  or 
wounded.  The  victory,  however,  brought  great  con- 
fusion to  the  mind  of  the  Emperor :  he  believed  that 
he  was  engaged  with  the  army  of  Schwarzenberg,  and 
found  that  he  was  fighting  the  army  of  Bliicher. 
How  could  Bliicher,  who  a  few  days  ago  was  threat- 
ening Soissons,  be  now  on  the  frontiers  of  Lorraine  ? 
and  how  could  Schwarzenberg,  who  was  marching 
on  Vitry,  have  disappeared  so  suddenly  ?  At  length, 
on  the  afternoon  of  Sunday,  March  27,  when  before 
Yitrv,  he  learnt  the  undoubted  news  that  the  allies 
were  marching  on  Paris.  He  immediately  mounted 
his  horse,  rode  off  to  St.  Dizier  and  buried  himself 
in  his  reports,  his  maps, and  his  plans.  He  knew  that 
the  sceptre  and  the  sword  were  trembling  in  his 
hands. 

There  is  little  doubt  that  if  left  to  himself  he 
would  have  abandoned  Paris  to  her  fate  and  have 
continued  his  operations,  but  he  was  overruled  by 
the  opinion  of  his  generals,  and  at  eleven  at  night 
orders  were  issued  for  an  advance  on  the  capital  by 
way  of  Bar-sur-Aube,  Troyes  and  Fontainebleau.  He 
reached  Troyes  on  the  night  of  March  29,  and  after 
a  few  hours'  sleep  left  again  at  break  of  day,  com- 
mitting the  charge  of  the  army  to  Berthier,  who  was 
ordered  to  lead  it  to  Fontainebleau.     He  intended 


THE  CAPTURE  OF  PARIS.  223 

to  sleep  at  Villeneuve-sur-Vanne,  but  his  impatience 
overcame  him.  He  threw  himself  into  a  post-chaise 
with  Caulaincourt,  and  galloped  at  full  speed  on 
the  road  to  Paris. 

On  that  very  day,  Wednesday,  March  30,  1814, 
the  decisive  battle  was  being  fought  under  the  walls 
of  the  capital.  Paris,  at  that  time,  was  not  forti- 
fied, and  during  the  two  months  of  the  campaign 
nothing  had  been  done  either  by  Clarke,  the  Minister 
of  War,  or  by  King  Joseph,  who  was  President  of 
the  Council  of  Regency,  to  place  it  in  a  condition 
of  defence.  K'apoleon  himself  had  given  no  positive 
orders  with  regard  to  it.  Putting  things  at  their 
very  best,  not  more  than  forty-three  thousand  soldiers 
and  militia  could  be  got  together  to  oppose  the  vast 
forces  of  the  allies.  Under  these  circumstances 
honour  might  be  preserved,  but  victory  was  impos- 
sible. To  make  this  last  effort,  Marmont  estab- 
lished himself  on  the  plateau  of  Eomainville,  and  in 
front  of  Pantin;  Mortier  was  to  the  north  in  front 
of  La  Villete  and  La  Chapelle.  The  soldiers  of 
Marmont  defended  their  ground  with  the  utmost 
heroism,  but  the  plateau  was  captured  by  force  of 
numbers,  and  he  withdrew  to  Belleville  and  Menil- 
montant,  where  he  held  out  for  several  hours.  But 
the  allies  occupied  Charonne  and  drove  Mortier  back 
to  the  very  gates  of  the  city,  capturing  Montmartre 
and  assaulting  the  barrier  of  Clichy,  which  was 
defended  by  the  aged  Marshal  Moncey.  At  four 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon  Marmont,  using  the  power 
which  Joseph  had  given  to  him,  began  negotiations 
for  a  capitulation.  The  French  evacuated  the  city 
during  the  night  and  the  allies  made  their  triumphal 
entry  on  the  following  day. 

Meanwhile   Napoleon,   hastening  with   all   speed 


224  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

towards  the  capital,  was  receiving  bad  news  at  every 
post-house.  At  Sens  he  heard  that  the  enemy  were 
approaching  Paris ;  at  Fontainebleaii,  that  the  Em- 
press had  left  for  Blois ;  at  Essonnes,  that  a  battle 
was  being  fought.  At  last,  at  eleven  o'clock  at  night, 
he  reached  the  post-house  of  Fromenteau,  called 
Cour-de-France,  about  fourteen  miles  from  Paris. 
Here  he  learnt  the  news  of  the  capitulation  from 
General  Belliard.  He  refused  to  yield  to  circum- 
stances :  he  would  go  to  Paris,  sound  the  tocsin, 
illuminate  the  town,  call  the  whole  population  to 
arms,  and  he  drove  on  to  Athis  two  miles  further. 
From  this  point  he  saw  the  bivouac  fires  of  the 
enemy  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Seine  and  met  the  ad- 
vanced guard  of  Mortier.  He  returned  to  La  Cour- 
de-France,  despatched  Caulaincourt  to  Paris  with 
full  power  to  treat  for  peace,  shut  himself  up  in  a 
room  and  busied  himself  with  his  maps. 

At  davbreak  he  received  a  messenger  from  Can- 
laincourt,  and  shortly  afterwards  a  letter  from  Mar- 
mont.  He  now  knew  that  everything  was  lost,  and, 
wearied  out  with  fatigue,  returned  to  Fontainebleau, 
which  he  reached  at  six  o'clock  in  the  morning.  He 
was  ioined  here  in  the  succeeding  davs  bv  the  re- 
mains  of  his  army.  On  April  2  the  Senate,  who 
had  hitherto  been  his  humble  slaves,  now  carried  a 
vote  depriving  him  of  the  crown,  and  a  provisional 
government  was  established  which  proposed  the  re- 
turn of  the  Bourbons.  On  April  5  Marmont  passed 
over  to  the  side  of  the  enemy  with  all  his  troops  and 
robbed  Napoleon  of  one  of  his  armies.  On  the  fol- 
lowing day  he  signed  his  abdication  and  afterward^ 
accepted  the  sovereignty  of  the  island  of  Elba. 


PART  EIGHTo 


THE  CAMPAIGN  OF  WATERLOO,  1815. 


CHAPTER  XXXVIII. 


THE  KETUKN  FROM  ELBA. 


It  is  impossible  to  write  an  account  of  the  cam- 
paign of  Waterloo  without  saying  something  of  the 
political  occurrences  which  led  to  it,  the  return 
of  Xapoleon  from  Elba,  and  the  rising  of  united 
Europe  for  his  destruction.  The  restoration  of  the 
Bourbons  to  the  throne  of  France  inevitably  car- 
ried with  it  the  re-establishment  of  the  Ancien 
Regime.  Under  any  circumstances  it  would 
have  been  extremely  difficult  to  reconcile  the 
new  and  the  old — the  ideas  of  the  Revolution 
with  the  system  which  it  displaced.  But  a  task 
of  this  nature,  easy  at  no  time,  had  been  ren- 
dered impossible  by  the  twenty  years  of  war 
which  had  succeeded  the  Revolution.  The  partisans 
of  the  Bourbons  regarded  evervthing  that  had  been 
done  since  the  abolition  of  monarchy  as  a  usurpation, 
and  were  impatiently  waiting  for  the  time  when  they 
were  to  enjoy  their  ow^l  again.  The  adherents  of 
the  new  state  of  things,  however  much  they  might  de- 
sire a  condition  of  peace  and  settled  government, 
looked  upon  the  Ancien  Regime  with  horror,  as 
the  embodiment  of  tyranny  and  injustice,  and  its 
15  225 


226  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

restoration  as  a  return  to  barbarism.  Napoleon 
said  frequently  at  St.  Helena  that  the  Bourbons 
would  never  again  be  able  to  reign  in  France,  and 
experience  has  shown  that  he  was  right. 

Therefore  to  recount  the  mistakes  of  the  Bour- 
bons on  their  return  to  Paris  is  merely  to  narrate 
the  inevitable.  A  reasonable  settlement  was  impos- 
sible, and  measures  more  or  less  erroneous  could  not 
appease  or  exasperate  the  inherent  antagonism  of  the 
situation.  It  was  soon  seen  that  they  had  learnt 
nothing  and  forgotten  nothing.  They  took  every 
pains  to  obliterate  tlie  memory  of  the  Revolu- 
tion and  tlie  Empire;  the  tri-coloured  cockade 
was  abolislied  and  the  white  cockade  put  in 
its  place;  the  palace  of  the  Tuilleries  was  filled 
with  the  old  aristocrac}^,  who  treated  those  who 
had  supplanted  them  with  scorn  and  contempt, 
and  drove  them  from  the  court  which  was  dominated 
by  the  Comte  d'Artois  and  his  daughter-in-law,  the 
Duchesse  d'Angouleme,  who  had  indeed  suffered  bit- 
terly in  the  Revolution,  but  could  never  forget  her 
Avrongs.  The  luxury  of  the  court  was  great  and  the 
taxes  of  the  people  heavy.  The  clergy  and  the  returned 
emigres  demanded  their  lands  back  again,  as  well 
as  their  tithes  and  their  feudal  rights,  although  the 
property  which  liad  formerly  belonged  to  them  had 
changed  hands  by  purchase.  There  was  a  pro- 
position to  declare  null  all  the  proj^rietary  arrange- 
ments of  the  last  twenty-five  years.  But  perhaps 
more  disastrous  than  anything  else  to  the  new  state 
of  things  was  the  reconstruction  of  the  army. 

The  infantry  Avas  reduced  from  206  regiments  to 
107,  the  cavalry  from  99  regiments  to  61,  the  artil- 
lery from  339  companies  to  184,  the  horse  artillery 
from  32  s(juadrons  to  8^  the  engineers  from  60  com- 


THE  RETURN  FROM  ELBA.         227 

panies  to  30.  While  these  reductions  were  enforced 
a  number  of  officers  were  admitted  into  the  army 
who  had  received  their  military  education  either  in 
the  army  of  Conde  or  in  the  service  of  Aus- 
tria or  England.  The  old  royal  household 
troops  came  back  with  all  their  privileges;  a 
large  number  of  officers  were  placed  upon  half- 
pay,  which  formed  a  solid  nucleus  for  discon- 
tent. The  two  Ministers  of  War — Dupont,  who 
was  tainted  with  the  disgrace  of  the  capitulation  of 
Baylen,  and  Soult,  who  had  all  the  zeal  of  a  convert 
— opened  wide  the  gates  of  promotion  to  the  emigres 
and  closed  them  to  the  children  of  the  Revolution. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  worship  of  the  Emperor,  the 
memory  of  his  triumphs  and  the  longing  for  his  re- 
turn grew  every  day  more  passionate  from  one  end 
of  France  to  the  other. 

jSTapoleon,  from  the  island  of  Elba,  followed  these 
movements  with  a  watchful  eye.  He  noted  the  mis- 
takes of  the  Bourbons,  and  the  growing  desire  of  the 
people  and  the  army  for  his  return.  There  were 
other  reasons  why  he  should  not  remain  where  he 
was.  The  treaty  of  Fontainebleau  had  promised  him 
a  revenue  of  two  million  francs  a  year  and  propor- 
tionate donations  to  his  mother  and  other  memljers 
of  his  family.  ISTot  one  penny  of  this  had  ever  been 
paid,  and  while  the  allied  sovereigns  might  urge  that 
it  would  be  madness  to  place  the  weapon  of  money 
into  his  hands,  Xapoleon  was  aware  that  his  resources 
were  nearly  exhausted  and  were  not  sufficient  to  pro- 
vide for  his  army  or  his  househould.  Schemes  were 
also  formed  at  Vienna  for  kidnapping  Napoleon  and 
conveying  him  to  the  island  of  St.  Helena,  or  to  some 
other  safe  place  of  custody,  so  that  if  he  felt  it  to  be 
for  his  interests  to  land  in  France  there  was  no 


228  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

reason  why  sentiments  of  honour  should  hold  him 
back. 

Animated  by  these  motives  and  encouraged  by 
messages  which  he  received  from  Paris,  [N^apoleon 
left  Elba  on  February  26,  1815,  and  reached  Golfe- 
Juan  at  one  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  on  March  1. 
He  had  with  him  about  eleven  hundred  men,  consist- 
ing of  about  six  hundred  grenadiers  and  chasseurs 
of  the  old  guard,  about  one  hundred  light  Polish 
cavalry,  of  course  without  horses,  a  certain  number  of 
gunners,  four  hundred  Corsican  chasseurs,  and  a  few 
unattached  officers  who  had  come  to  Elba  to  enter  his 
service.  It  is  not  necessary  to  relate  the  details  of 
the  march  to  Paris.  iSTapoleon  had  said  that  his 
eagles  would  fly  from  steeple  to  steeple  until  they 
reached  the  towers  of  Xotre  Dame,  and  this  boastful 
prophecy  was  fulfilled.  His  advance  was  a  triumph 
in  which  the  jDeople  and  the  army  vied  together  to 
do  him  honour.  Everywhere  the  white  cockade  was 
discarded  for  the  tri-coloured.  The  most  critical 
point  of  his  advance  was  at  Le  Mur  on  March  7, 
when  a  battalion  of  the  fifth  regiment  of  the  line, 
with  some  artillery  and  engineers,  seemed  inclined 
to  offer  resistance.  Xapoleon  walked  up  to  them 
and  cried :  "  Soldiers  of  the  fifth  regiment,  do  you 
recognise  me  ?  "  "  Yes,  yes,"  was  replied  by  hun- 
dreds of  voices.  Then  he  opened  his  coat,  laid  bare 
his  breast  and  said :  "  Who  is  there  amongst  you 
who  will  fire  at  his  Emperor  ? "  There  was  a 
general  shout  of  "  Vive  I'Empereur !  "  and  j^apoleon, 
turning  to  his  companions,  said:  "  It  is  all  settled; 
in  ten  days  we  shall  be  in  Paris." 

At  Grenoble  and  at  Lyons  the  people  and  the  sol- 
diers by  an  irresistible  impulse  acknowledged  their 
Emperor.       Marshal     Xey,     having     promised     to 


THE  RETURN  FROM  ELBA.        229 

Louis  XVIII.  to  bring  bim  back  in  an  iron  cage,  now 
declared  that  the  cause  of  the  Bourbons  was  lost 
for  ever.  Napoleon  entered  Paris  on  March  20, 
Louis  XVIII.  having  left  it  the  night  before,  flying 
first  to  Lille  and  then  to  Ghent.  The  whole  of 
France  accepted  the  restored  empire ;  the  high  digni- 
taries of  the  army,  who  had  welcomed  the  Bourbons 
in  1814,  now  sang  a  different  note.  If  a  sovereign 
has  any  right  to  his  crown  by  a  people's  vote,  Na- 
poleon could,  after  the  return  from  Elba,  feel  him- 
self to  be  the  chosen  monarch  of  France. 


230  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEK  XXXIX. 

CIIARLEROI. 

Easy  as  it  was  -to  rally  France  around  the  Im- 
perial regime,  it  was  impossible  that  it  should  be  ac- 
cepted by  Europe.  By  declarations  signed  on  March 
13,  the  sovereigns  at  the  Congress  of  Vienna  had  de- 
clared Xapoleon  an  outlaw,  and  a  fortnight  after- 
wards they  had  formed  a  new  Coalition.  Xot  less 
than  eight  hundred  thousand  men  were  advancing 
against  the  frontier  of  France ;  no  representations 
were  listened  to ;  it  was  necessary  to  prepare  for  a 
terrible  struggle.  When  Xapoleon  entered  the 
Tuillerieson  March  20  the  annies  of  France  did  not 
exceed  one  hundred  and  eighty  thousand  men.  He 
boasted  that  by  the  first  of  October  be  would  have 
eight  hundred  thousand  men  under  arms,  and  com- 
petent judges  are  of  opinion  that  he  might  have  justi- 
fied this  boast.  On  beginning  the  campaign  he  had 
28,238  of  the  guard  and  more  than  two  hundred  and 
fifty  thousand  troops  of  the  line,  making  a  total  of 
two  hundred  and  eighty-four  thousand  men,  and  he 
had  beside  this  an  auxiliary  army  of  222,624,  form- 
ing a  grand  total  of  over  five  hundred  thousand  men, 
and  in  a  month  their  number  would  have  been  in- 
creased by  at  least  one  hundred  thousand.  The  allies 
began  to  prepare  for  war  at  the  beginning  of  April. 
Several  plans  of  campaign  were  proposed.  Wel- 
lington desired  to  commence  hostilities  before  the 
arrival  of  the  Eussian  army  and  before  the  allied 


CHARLEROI.  231 

troops  had  completed  their  concentration.  He  wrote 
on  April  10  that  it  would  be  snfficient  to  move  sixty 
thousand  Anglo-Dutch,  sixty  thousand  Prussians  and 
one  hundred  and  forty  thousand  Austro-Bavarians 
into  the  country  between  the  Sambre  and  the  Mouse 
in  order  to  occupy  France  with  forces  superior  to  the 
enemy  and  to  be  able  to  mancpuvre  in  the  direction  of 
Paris.  He  was  anxious  above  everything  for  the 
restoration  of  Louis  XVIII. ,  and  thought  that  de- 
lay would  give  Xapoleon  strength.  Schwarzen- 
berg  was  characteristically  anxious  for  delay. 
Eventuallv    it   was   agreed   that   six   armies   should 

t-'  Cj 

invade  France  simultaneously  :  Wellington  with 
the  armv  of  the  Low  Countries,  ninetv-three 
thousand  strong,  between  Maubeuge  and  Beau- 
mont ;  Bliicher  with  the  Prussian  army,  one 
hundred  and  seventeen  thousand  strong,  between 
Philippeville  and  Givet ;  the  Russian  cavalry 
under  Barclay  de  Tolly,  with  one  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  men,  betweeen  Saardories  and  Saarbruch ; 
Schwa rzenbcrg  with  two  hundred  and  ten  thousand 
Austrians  and  South  Germans,  partly  by  Sarregui- 
mines  and  partly  by  Bale.  These  four  armies  were 
to  march  concentrically  on  Paris,  by  Peronne, 
Laon,  ISTancy  and  Langres  respectively.  On  the 
extreme  left  the  army  of  Xorth  Italy  and  the  army  of 
Xaples  were  to  cross  the  Alps  and  to  advance,  one 
on  Lyons  and  the  other  on  Provence,  the  latter  to  be 
supported  in  its  operations  by  the  English  fleet. 

To  meet  this  attack,  Xapoleon,  as  he  has  himself 
related,  hesitated  for  a  long  time  between  two  plans. 
The  first  was  to  collect  a  large  body  of  troops  near 
Paris,  to  concentrate  the  army  of  the  Alps  and  the 
corps  of  the  Jura  at  Lyons,  to  let  the  allies  march 
against  the  fortresses,  which  were  well  provisioned 


232  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

and  garrisoned  by  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand 
men.  As  the  campaign  was  not  intended  to  com- 
mence till  July  1,  the  enemy  could  not  reach  Lyons 
till  July  25,  or  Paris  till  July  2.5.  By  that  time 
the  fortifications  of  the  capital  would  be  completed, 
and  would  be  well  furnished  with  defenders.  The 
army  of  Paris  would  amount  to  two  hundred  thou- 
sand men,  and  there  would  be  eighty  thousand  men 
in  the  depots  and  one  hundred  and  fifty-eight  thou- 
sand recruits.  Of  the  six  hundred  and  fifty-four 
thousand  allied  troops  who  entered  France  seventy- 
five  thousand  would  be  engaged  in  Provence  and  in 
the  territory  of  Lyons,  and  not  less  than  one  hundred 
and  fifty  thousand  would  be  left  behind  to  protect 
their  communications,  so  that  the  four  grand  armies 
on  reaching  the  Oise  and  the  Seine  would  not  num- 
ber more  than  four  hundred  and  twenty  thousand 
combatants.  To  these  jS^apoleon  would  oppose  two 
hundred  thousand  soldiers  capable  of  movement,  be- 
sides others  in  the  intrenched  camp  of  Paris.  He 
would  undertake  a  campaign  similar  to  that  of  1814, 
with  two  hundred  thousand  soldiers  instead  of  ninety 
thousand,  with  the  capital  protected  by  eighty  thou- 
sand men  under  the  capalde  command  of  Davout. 

The  second  j^lan,  which  was  bolder  but  much  more 
hazardous,  was  to  attack  the  enemy  before  his  forces 
were  collected.  He  calculated  that  by  June  15  he 
could  concentrate  on  the  frontier  of  the  jSTorth  an 
army  of  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  thousand  men. 
He  would  then  march  into  Belgium,  conquer  the 
English  and  the  Prussians  by  attacking  them  one 
after  the  other,  and  then  after  receiving  reinforce- 
ments join  the  corps  of  Rapp  and  go  to  meet  the 
combined  army  of  Austrians  and  Russians.  He  was 
led  to  adoj^t  the  second  j)lan,  partly  by  the  character 


CHARLEROI.  233 

of  his  genius  and  partly  by  political  considerations. 
He  did  not  think  it  safe  to  expose  the  country  again 
to  the  strain  which  had  been  put  on  it  in  the  previous 
year.  Besides,  he  felt  confident  that  one  decisive  vic- 
tory would  destroy  the  Coalition  ;  the  Belgians  would 
join  the  French,  and  if  the  Whigs  came  into  power 
in  England  they  would  make  peace.  On  the  other 
hand,  if  his  army  were  compelled  to  retreat,  he  could 
retire  on  Paris  and  take  up  the  first  plan ;  at  the 
same  time  he  did  not  conceal  from  himself  the  dis- 
astrous consequences  of  a  signal  defeat  such  as  he 
trusted  was  not  likely  to  happen  to  him. 

Having  decided  on  the  second  plan,  he  next  had  to 
determine  at  what  point  he  should  make  his  attack. 
If  he  moved  by  Lille  on  Wellington's  right,  he  would 
drive  the  English  army  into  the  arms  of  the  Prus- 
sians and  would  soon  have  to  fight  them  both  united ; 
if  he  debouched  by  Givet  and  the  valley  of  the  Meuse, 
he  would  drive  the  Prussian  army  into  the  arms  of 
the  English.  He  therefore  determined  to  aim 
straight  at  the  point  of  juncture  of  the  two  armies 
and  to  commence  the  campaign  from  Charleroi. 

l^apoleon  left  Paris  on  the  night  of  June  10  and 
reached  Laon,  that  tovni  of  ill-omen,  at  midday  on 
June  11.  On  June  13  he  slept  at  Avesnes,  and  on 
the  evening  of  June  14  moved  his  headquarters  to 
Beaumont,  about  thirtv  miles  distant.  The  next 
dav  he  addressed  them  thus :  "  Soldiers,  this  dav  is 
the  anniversary  of  Marengo  and  of  Friedland,  battles 
which  have  twice  decided  the  destiny  of  the  Empire. 
Then,  as  after  Austerlitz  and  after  Wagram,  we 
were  too  generous.  To-day,  in  a  coalition  against 
us,  the  princes,  whom  we  have  left  upon  their  thrones, 
are  attacking  the  independence  and  the  most  sacred 
rights  of  France.     They  have  begun  the  most  un- 


234  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

just  aggressions.  They  and  ourselves,  are  we  no 
longer  the  same  men  i  "  The  French  army  was  now 
concentrated  in  a  line  extending  f rom  Solre-sur- 
Sambre  to  Philippeville,  a  distance  of  about  ten 
miles,  with  Beaumont  for  its  centre,  each  corps 
having  not  more  than  about  fifteen  or  twenty  miles 
to  march  to  reach  its  objective,  Charleroi. 

By  these  operations,  in  ten  days,  a  body  of  one 
hundred  and  twenty-four  thousand  men,  considerably 
scattered,  had  been  brought  to  the  frontier,  within 
cannon-range  of  the  enemy's  outposts,  without  the 
allies  having  adopted  any  measures  of  defence. 
JSTever  had  such  a  manoeuvre  been  better  conceived, 
and,  with  some  exceptions,  better  carried  out.  On 
June  14  the  headquarters  of  Bliicher  were  at  ^amur, 
and  those  of  Wellington  at  Brussels;  each  of  these 
armies  would  require  three  days  to  concentrate 
on  their  point  of  contact,  and  twice  that  time  to  con- 
centrate either  on  the  English  right  or  the  Prussian 
left.  Wellington  defended  his  action  by  the  diffi- 
culty of  obtaining  subsistence  for  his  troops  and  the 
necessity  of  guarding  every  point.  The  truth  was 
that  it  was  not  intended  by  the  allies  that  the  in- 
vasion of  France  should  begin  till  the  end  of  June, 
and  neither  he  nor  Bliicher  believed  that  Xapoleon 
would  begin  the  attack. 

The  advanced  guard  of  the  French  army  crossed 
the  Belgian  frontier  at  half-past  three  on  the  morn- 
ing of  June  15,  and  the  whole  army  was  to  proceed 
in  three  columns  to  Charleroi,  the  regulations  for  the 
march  having  been  carefully  considered  in  every  par- 
ticular. Unfortunately  some  of  the  generals  were 
late  in  executing  their  orders,  and  the  corps  of 
Gerard  was  thrown  into  confusion  by  the  desertion 
of  General  Bourmont,  who  rode  over  to  the  enemy. 


CHARLEROI.  235 

To  his  honour  be  it  said,  Bliicher,  disgusted  at  see- 
ing a  soldier  dressed  in  the  uniform  of  a  general  of 
division  deserting  his  colours  on  the  morning  of 
battle,  would  scarcely  speak  to  him.  ISTot  with  stand- 
ing these  checks  the  advanced  posts  of  Ziethen  were 
driven  back  to  the  Sambre,  and  the  French  became 
masters  of  the  two  bridges  over  the  river,  one  at 
Marchienne-au-Pont  and  the  other  at  Charleroi.  At 
midday  Napoleon  rode  through  the  town  of  Charleroi 
and,  sitting  in  a  chair  before  a  small  tavern,  saw  the 
troops  defile  before  him.  Tradition  says  that  he  fell 
asleep,  which  is  perhaps  not  to  be  wondered  at  on  a 
hot  day  in  the  middle  of  June  after  seven  or  eight 
hours  in  the  saddle. 

After  Charleroi  the  road  branches  into  two,  that 
to  the  right  leading  to  Fleurus  and  Sombreffe,  that 
to  the  left  to  Gosselies,  Quatre-Bras  and  Genappe,  the 
first  being  the  road  to  ISTamur,  the  second  the  road 
to  Brussels.  At  2  p.m.  General  Gourgaud  brought 
the  news  that  the  Prussians  were  visible  in  force  at 
Gosselies,  that  is,  on  the  Brussels  road.  Xapoleon 
at  once  ordered  General  Reille  to  march  on  Gosse- 
lies, and,  besides  taking  other  measures,  sent  D'Erlon 
to  support  Reille.  He  was  naturally  disturbed,  be- 
cause the  presence  of  Prussians  on  the  Brussels  road 
seemed  to  indicate  a  juncture  between  Bliicher  and 
Wellington. 

At  a  little  after  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  'Ner 
suddenly  arrived  upon  the  scene,  to  the  great  delight 
of  the  troops.  The  Emperor  said  to  him :  "  Good 
day,  I^ey ;  I  am  very  glad  to  see  you.  You  will  take 
command  of  the  first  and  second  corps.  I  give  you 
also  the  light  cavalry  of  the  guard,  but  do  not  use 
them.  To-morrow  you  will  be  joined  by  the 
cuirassiers  of  Kellermann.     Go  and  drive  the  enemy 


236  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

along  the  road  to  Brussels  and  take  up  a  position  at 
Quatre-Bras."  This  place,  so  famous  in  history, 
lies  at  the  spot  where  the  road  from  x^amur  to 
Nivelles  crosses  the  road  from  Charleroi  to  Brussels. 
It  is  about  eleven  miles  from  Charleroi,  a  little  more 
than  a  mile  from  Genappe,  and  about  nine  miles 
from  the  battle-field  of  Waterloo.  iSTapoleon  had 
now  good  reason  to  believe  that  his  plan  had  suc- 
ceeded beyond  his  expectations.  He  would  be  able 
to  place  his  left  wing  at  Quatre-Bras  to  meet  the 
English,  his  right  wing  at  Sombreffe  to  meet  the 
Prussians,  while,  taking  his  position  at  Fleurus,  the 
apex  of  the  triangle,  he  would  be  able  on  the  follow- 
ing day  to  throw  himself  with  decisive  effect  on 
whichever  of  the  enemies  was  the  first  to  show  him- 
self. 

As  Xapoleon  was  giving  his  instructions  to  Ney, 
Grouchy  came  up,  who  was  destined  to  take  charge 
of  the  right  wing.  lie  had  found  that  the  Prus- 
sians were  posted  in  force  at  Gilly,  about  two  miles 
and  a  half  from  Charleroi.  The  Emperor  rode  for- 
ward with  him  and  ordered  him  to  disperse  the  Prus- 
sians, and  to  drive  them  to  Sombreffe,  where  he  was 
to  take  up  his  position,  but  unfortunately  the  Em- 
peror did  not  wait  to  see  this  done,  and  returned  to 
Charleroi.  The  consequence  was  that  the  attack  was 
delayed,  Vandamme  and  Grouchy  quarrelled,  and 
the  French  did  not  even  occupy  Eleurus,  much  less 
Sombreffe.  On  the  left,  jSTey,  after  driving  the 
enemy  from  Gosselies,  left  the  bulk  of  his  troops 
there,  and  only  took  with  him  on  the  road  to  Quatre- 
Bras  the  lancers  and  the  chasseurs  of  the  guard.  He 
arrived  at  Frasnes,  a  village  about  three  miles  south 
of  Quatre-Bras,  at  half-past  five,  and  found  it  oc- 
cupied by  some  ^Nassau  troops.       They  halted  just 


CHARLEROI.  237 

before  Quatre-Bras  and  were  joined  by  reinforce- 
ments under  Prince  Bernard  of  Saxe-Weimar.  Ney 
came  to  the  conclusion  that  he  couhl  not  successfully 
attack  this  body  of  four  thousand  live  hundred  men 
Avith  his  seventeen  hundred  cavalry  and  a  single 
battalion  of  infantry.  Therefore  a  little  before  8 
P.M.  he  recalled  his  cavalry  to  Frasnes  and  went 
himself  to  sleep  at  Gosselies. 

Ko  doubt  the  failure  of  Xey  to  occupy  Quatre- 
Bras  on  June  15  was  one  of  the  chief  causes  of  Xa- 
poleon's  ill  success.  If,  wlien  he  arrived  at  Gosse- 
lies at  5  P.M.,  instead  of  stopping  Keille's  corps, 
he  had  taken  with  him  only  part  of  the  troops  which 
the  Emperor  had  placed  under  his  orders,  he  might 
have  crushed  the  forces  of  Prince  Bernard  and  placed 
himself  between  the  positions  of  Bliicher  and  Well- 
ington, but  for  once  "  the  bravest  of  the  brave  "  pre- 
ferred  caution  to  hardihood. 


238  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XL. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LIGNY. 


On  the  morning  of  June  16,  although  Sombreffe 
and  Quatre-Bras  had  not  been  occupied,  the  French 
army  was  in  a  good  position.  !N^apoleon  had  thrown 
himself  into  the  centre  of  the  allied  position,  and 
had  one  hundred  and  twenty-four  thousand  men  en- 
camped in  a  triangle  measuring  about  nine  miles 
each  way.  During  the  whole  day  not  an  English 
uniform  had  been  seen,  and  the  Prussians  had  no- 
where shown  any  large  number  of  troops.  The  Em- 
peror therefore  had  some  reason  for  supposing  that 
both  armies  had  retired  on  their  lines  of  operation, 
the  Prussians  towards  Liege  and  Maestricht,  the 
English  to  Ostend  and  Antwerp.  The  further  they 
were  separated,  the  more  easy  would  it  be  to  beat 
them.  With  these  ideas  in  his  head  Napoleon  sent 
orders  in  the  early  moring  for  Grouchy  to  march 
on  Sombreffe  and  Gembloux,  driving  before  him  any 
Prussians  he  might  meet  with ;  he  was  then  to  sum- 
mon the  reserve  from  Fleurus  to  Sombreffe,  and 
march  with  it  to  join  ISTey  at  Quatre  Bras ;  they  could 
then  marcli  on  together  at  night  and  reach  Brussels 
at  7  A.M.  on  the  morning  of  June  17. 

Just  as  these  orders  were  being  sent  out  a  letter 
arrived  from  Grouchy  saying  that  a  large  body  of 
Prussians  was  advancing  from  the  I^amur  road  to- 
wards Brye  and  St.  Amand.  This  showed  the  Em- 
peror that  Bliicher,  instead  of  retreating,  was  prepar- 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LIGNY.  239 

ing  to  fight  a  battle,  but  he  saw  no  reason  to  alter 
the  orders  already  given.  Just  as  he  was  leaving 
for  Fleurus  news  came  from  the  left  wing  that  the 
enemy  was  appearing  in  force  on  the  side  of  Quatre 
Bras,  upon  which  Napoleon  sent  to  Ney  the  follow- 
ing order :  '"  Bliicher  having  been  yesterday  at 
Namur,  it  is  not  probable  that  he  has  led  his  troops 
to  Quatre  Bras ;  therefore  you  have  only  to  deal  with 
those  which  come  from  Brussels,  join  together  the 
corps  of  Comtes  Reille  and  D'Erlon,  and  that  of  the 
Comte  de  Valmy  (Kellermann).  With  these  forces 
you  will  be  able  to  beat  and  destroy  all  the  strength 
of  the  enemy  which  may  appear  before  you."  Lobau 
was  ordered  to  remain  at  Charleroi  to  assist  E'ey  if 
necessary.  Having  given  these  orders,  the  Emperor 
set  out  for  Fleurus,  which  he  reached  a  little  before 
11  A.M.  He  found  to  his  surprise  that  Grouchy 
had  not  yet  started  for  Sombreflfe,  but  that  general 
gave  as  his  reason  the  fact  that  large  masses  of  the 
enemy  were  to  be  seen  a  little  to  the  north  of  Fleurus, 
which  he  had  only  occupied  that  morning.  Hearing 
this,  ISTapoleon  took  up  his  position  in  a  brick  wind- 
mill which  commands  the  plain,  having  made  a 
breach  in  its  wooden  cowl  for  purposes  of  observation. 
Bliicher,  as  soon  as  he  heard  of  Xapoleon's  at- 
tack, had  hastened  from  I^amur  to  Sombreffe,  which 
he  reached  on  June  15  at  4  p.m.  He  immediately 
took  steps  to  put  his  troops  on  the  brook  of  Ligny,  a 
j)osition  which  he  had  previously  selected  as  a  field 
of  battle  if  the  French  should  debouch  by  Charleroi. 
He  was  full  of  ardour  and  had  written  to  his  wife: 
"  With  one  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  Prussians 
I  would  bind  myself  to  take  Tripoli,  Tunis,  and 
Algiers  if  I  had  not  got  to  pass  the  sea."  But  he 
had  some  difiiculty  in  concentrating  his  forces,  which 


2i0  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

were  mueli  dispersed.  At  11  a.:m.  only  the  corps 
of  Ziethen  was  in  line,  tlie  corps  of  Pirch  did  not 
arrive  till  midday,  followed  by  that  of  Thielmann, 
while  the  fourth  corps,  under  Billow,  was  mucli  be- 
hind. Still,  he  determined  to  fight,  hoping  for  the 
co-operation  of  Wellington,  of  which  he  had  re- 
ceived a  conditional  promise. 

Wellington,  who  was  at  Brussels,  had  been  in- 
formed at  8  A.M.  on  the  morning  of  June  15,  by 
Ziethen,  that  his  outposts  had  been  attacked,  but  not 
being  certain  that  this  was  not  a  feint,  hesitated  to 
concentrate  all  his  troops  on  his  left.  That  night 
the  famous  ball  of  the  Duchess  of  Richmond  was 
given  at  Brussels.  Wellington  went  to  it,  probably 
that  he  might  not  alarm  the  somewhat  doubtful 
courage  of  the  Belgians,  and  left  it  after  supper  at 
3  A.M.  He  set  out  at  6  a.m.  and  reached  Quatre 
Bras  at  10  a.m.,  a  distance  of  a  little  over  twenty 
miles;  he  then  rode  towards  Frasnes  to  observe  the 
French  outposts.  About  1  p.m.  he  joined  Marshal 
Bllicher  on  the  heights  of  Brve,  and  ascended  with 
him  a  Avindmill  in  front  of  that  village,  which  gave  a 
better  view  than  the  windmill  of  Fleurus.  They 
saw  the  French  columns  advancing,  and  recognised 
the  Emperor  in  person  surrounded  by  his  staff. 
Gneisenau  urged  that  the  Duke  should  bring  up  his 
forces  to  support  the  Prussians  at  Brye,  which  would 
certainly  not  have  been  wise,  because  it  would 
have  uncovered  the  road  to  Brussels.  Wellington 
eventually  arranged  that  he  would  first  cut  to  pieces 
the  French  troops  at  Frasnes  and  push  on  to  Gosse- 
lies,  and  that  he  would  come  to  the  assistance  of 
Bllicher  if  he  were  not  attacked  himself. 

The  battle-field  of  Tigny  is  traversed  by  the  brook 
La    Lig-ne    which    runs    between    deep   banks.       In 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LIGNY.  241 

the  centre  is  the  village  of  Ligny  with  its  two  large 
farms,  the  ancient  castle  of  the  Counts  of  Looz,  and 
a  church  with  a  graveyard  enclosed  by  a  wall.  By 
the  villages  which  border  the  stream,  the  position  of 
the  Prussians  may  be  described  as  a  continuous  ditch 
with  ten  bastions,  some  in  front  of  and  some  behind 
the  ditch,  the  most  important,  Ligny,  being  traversed 
throughout  its  whole  length  by  the  brook.  From  the 
mill  at  Fleurus  jSTapoleon  could  not  see  the  whole 
strength  of  the  position,  because  the  ravine  of  the 
Ligny  was  hidden  from  him.  The  ground  looked 
like  a  vast  corn-field,  sloping  down  towards  the 
centre  and  gradually  rising  towards  the  horizon. 

We  have  seen  that  Bliicher  was  only  able  to  as- 
semble his  troops  gradually,  therefore  the  Emperor 
had  at  first  only  a  corps  d'armee  before  him.  It 
was  plain  also  that  the  Prussians  M'ere  looking  for  a 
junction  with  the  English  army  on  their  right.  This 
fact  induced  Xapoleon  to  write  to  Xey  at  2  p.m. 
that  after  having  attacked  the  enemy  vigorously  at 
Quatre  Bras  he  was  to  retire  towards  the  Emperor's 
position  to  take  the  Prussians  on  the  right  flank.  A 
copy  of  this  order  was  also  sent  to  D'Erlon,  who  was 
under  l^ey's  command.  jS^apoleon  soon  became 
aware  that  he  had  before  him  the  whole  of  the  Prus- 
sian army  and  he  was  proportionately  delighted.  In 
a  few  hours,  if  Xey  appeared  on  the  heights  of  Brye, 
Bliicher  would  be  destroyed.  He  said  to  Gerard: 
"  It  is  possible  that  in  three  hours  the  fate  of  the  war 
will  be  decided.  If  N^ey  carries  out  his  orders  well, 
not  a  gun  of  the  army  will  escape."  At  3.15  p.m. 
a  more  pressing  order  was  sent  to  Ney.  He  is  told 
that  the  Prussians  are  lost  if  he  acts  vigorously — 
that  the  fate  of  France  is  in  his  hands ;  but  just  at 
this  moment  the  Emperor  heard  that  Xey  had  twenty 
16 


24:2  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

thousand  of  the  enemy  before  him.  He  therefore 
came  to  the  conclusion  that  he  must  content  himself 
with  the  division  of  D'Erlon,  and  sent  orders  to 
that  general  to  march  on  the  rig'lit  of  the  Prussian 
army,  the  order  to  be  communicated  to  jSTey. 

The  battle  began  at  3  p.m.  Vandamme  ad- 
vanced through  the  corn-fields  upon  St.  Amand,  and 
Gerard  upon  Ligny.  The  French  succeeded  in 
capturing  St.  Amand,  but  it  was  recovered  by  the 
Prussians.  Only  half  of  the  village  of  Ligny  was 
taken,  the  Prussians  still  holding  their  own  on  the 
other  side  of  the  stream.  They  also  took  particular 
pains  to  defend  their  right,  by  which  they  could  com- 
municate with  the  English.  At  last,  at  5.30  p.  m.^ 
ISTapoleon  made  preparations  for  the  advance  of  his 
reserve  against  the  Prussian  centre.  He  expected 
J^ev  to  arrive  at  6  p.m..  and  the  defeat  of  Bliicher 
would  then  be  complete.  As  the  attack  was  forming- 
news  was  brought  that  a  body  of  the  enemy's  troops, 
twenty  or  thirty  thousand  strong,  was  visible  on  the 
French  left  and  that  Gerard  was  2:ivin2:  wav  in  con- 
sequence.  The  Emperor  was  much  disturbed  at  this 
information,  which  he  could  not  understand,  and  he 
suspended  the  attack  until  he  had  further  informa- 
tion. At  about  6.20  p.m.  he  received  certain  in- 
formation that  the  supposed  body  of  the  enemy  was 
in  reality  the  corps  of  D'Erlon,  which  he  had  sum- 
moned to  his  assistance ;  he  also  heard  that  the  di- 
vision had  again  retired.  Feeling  now  certain  that 
he  could  receive  no  assistance  either  from  Ney  or 
D'Erlon,  he  determined  to  advance  with  his  reserve 
on  Ligny.  This  movement,  made  at  7  p.m.,  decided 
the  fate  of  the  battle.  The  centre  of  the  enemy  was 
completely  driven  in.  Bliicher  was  thrown  from  his 
horse  and  was  very  nearly  taken  prisoner.     But  the 


THE  BATTLE  OF  LIGNY.  243 

two  wings  of  the  Prussian  army  were  able  to  re- 
treat in  good  order,  although  thev  suffered  much  loss. 
The  whole  loss  of  the  Prussians  amounted  to  fifteen 
thousand,  that  of  the  French  to  about  nine  thousand. 
The  battle  of  Ligny  was  a  great  success,  but  the 
victory  was  not  complete.  The  Prussian  army  was 
mutilated,  but  not  destroyed,  and  the  plans  ela- 
borated for  its  annihilation  by  Napoleon  had  failed. 


244  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XLL 

THE  BATTLE  OF  QUATRE-BEAS. 

During  the  course  of  June  16  the  Emperor  had 
sent  nine  successive  orders  to  Marshal  Ney,  the  first 
at  five  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the  last  at  five  o'clock 
in  the  evening.  It  is  the  opinion  of  military  ex- 
perts that,  if  Ney  had  acted  with  promptitude,  he 
might  have  been  in  a  position  to  attack  Quatre-Bras 
at  9  A.M.  with  a  force  of  nineteen  thousand  in- 
fantry, three  thousand  five  hundred  cavalry  and 
sixty-four  guns,  and  a  reserve  of  twenty  thousand 
five  hundred  men.  Eeille  also,  who  was  under  his 
orders,  was  very  slow  in  his  movements.  Quatre- 
Bras  was  at  this  time  held  by  the  Prince  of  Orange 
with  seven  thousand  eight  hundred  infantry  and 
fourteen  guns,  but  he  was  fully  convinced  of  the 
strategical  importance  of  the  position,  and  was  deter- 
mined to  defend  it  to  the  utmost.  The  hamlet  of 
Quatre-Bras  consisted  at  this  time  of  two  houses  and 
three  large  farms,  each  forming  admirable  points 
of  defence,  one  to  the  left  of  the  allied  position,  one 
in  the  centre  and  one  to  the  right,  this  last  being 
further  strenffthened  bv  the  wood  of  Bossu. 

Eeille  joined  Xey  at  Frasnes  at  1.30  p.m.^  but 
the  attack  did  not  begin  till  2  p.m.  The  left  and 
centre  of  the  enemy  were  forced  and  the  Prince  of 
Orange  was  nearly  taken  prisoner,  but  the  troops  of 
Prince  Bernard  of  Saxe- Weimar  on  the  right  had 


THE  BATTLE  OF  QUATRE-BRAS.  245 

not  been  attacked.  About  3  p.m.  Wellington  ar- 
rived on  the  field,  after  his  interview  with  Bllicher, 
and  considered  the  situation  to  be  critical ;  but  he 
soon  received  reinforcements,  Picton  with  eight 
English  battalions  and  four  Hanoverian,  and  Van 
Merlin  with  some  Dutch  and  Belgian  cavalry. 
Picton,  with  Kempt  and  Pack  under  him,  marched 
to  re-establish  the  broken  left.  In  the  meantime 
the  Prince  of  Orange  defended  his  centre  against 
Foy,  who  was  pressing  the  attack,  but  was  with  Wel- 
lington driven  into  confusion  along  the  Brussels 
road.  About  tlie  same  time  the  farm  on  the  allied 
right  was  captured,  and  the  wood  of  Bossu  attacked. 
About  4  P.M.  'Nej  received  the  Emperor's  order 
to  press  the  enemy  vigorously  and  then  to  attack 
the  flank  of  the  Prussian  army  at  Brye.  He  there- 
fore made  a  general  movement  in  advance.  The 
allies  began  to  yield  on  their  right  and  centre;  the 
Black  Brunswickers  were  driven  back  by  Foy;  they 
charged  once  more,  led  by  their  Duke  Frederick  Wil- 
lii.m  in  person,  but  he  was  shot  in  the  stomach  and 
was  carried  into  a  house  at  Quatre-Bras,  where  he 
died  in  the  evening.  His  troops  were  dressed  in 
black,  with  a  badge  of  a  skull  and  crossed  bones  in 
memory  of  the  Duke,  his  father,  who  had  been 
mortally  wounded  at  Auerstadt.  On  the  allied  left 
the  French  column  of  attack  was  met  by  the  fire  of 
Picton's  troops,  hidden  by  the  standing  corn ;  it  was 
then  charged  with  the  bayonet  by  Kempt's  brigade 
and  driven  back  to  the  farm.  The  English  could  not 
hold  his  advanced  position  and  retired,  gallantly 
followed  by  the  French.  The  28th  regiment  formed 
into  square  to  resist  the  French  cavalry,  and  when 
they  seemed  likely  to  break  Picton  called  out  to 
them,  "  Twenty-eighth,  remember  Egypt."     Pack's 


24:6  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

brigade  was  less  fortunate,  and  the  French  opposed 
to  them  advanced  as  far  as  the  Namur  road. 
.  For  the  success  of  his  attack  Ney  had  reckoned 
on  the  twenty  thousand  men  forming  the  corps  of 
D'Erlon,  who  formed  the  reserve,  but  by  a  strange 
fatality  this  body  was  to  prove  equally  useless  to 
himself    and    to    his    master.     D'Erlon    had,    from 
various  reasons,  been  retarded  in  his  march,  and  at 
4  P.M.  was  still  about  five  miles  from  Quatre-Bras, 
when  the  order  came  from  Napoleon  ordering  him  to 
march  to  the  heights  of  St.  Amand  and  fall  upon 
Ligny.     Unfortunately  he  misread  the  order,  and  in- 
stead*^  of  taking  the  direction  of  Brye  and  Ligny  to 
attack    the  Prussians    in  the    rear,  he   marched    to- 
wards St.   Amand  and  Fleurus,  which  merely  had 
the    effect    of    prolonging    Napoleon's    left,     first 
sending  a  message  to  Ney  to  inform  him  of  what  he 
was  doing.     Ney  on  receiving  the  news  was  beside 
himself  with  rage,  especially  when  he  received  the 
despatch  of  Soult  a  few  minutes  afterwards  telling 
him  that  the  fate  of  France  was  in  his  hands.     He 
entirely  lost  his  self-command  and  prayed  that  he 
might  he  speedily  killed  by  an  English  bullet.     In 
this  condition  it  is  hardly  strange  if  he  sent  an  im- 
perative order  to  D'Erlon  to  return  at  once,  although 
he  must  have  been  aware  that  he  could  be  of  no  use. 
Animated  by  the   same  feeling  of  desperation,  he 
ordered  Kellermann  to  charge  the  allied  forces  with 
his  single  brigade.     In  this  attack,  which  was  after- 
wards paralleled  by  the  charge  of  the  Light  Brigade 
at     Balaclava,     the     cuirassiers     actually     reached 
Quatre-Bras,  but  they  then  found  themselves  in  the 
middle  of  Wellington's  army,  swept  by  the  fire  of 
the  Dutch  from  the  wood  of  Bossu,  of  the  English 
from  the  causeway  of  the  ISTamur  road,  of  the  Bruns- 


THE  BATTLE  OF  QUATRE-BRAS.  247 

wickers  from  tlie  houses  of  Quatre-Bras,  and  of  other 
Germans  from  the  Brussels  road.  Kellermann's 
horse  was  killed, and  his  soldiers  broke  and  fled. 

At  this  moment  Ney,  having  had  tw^o  horses  killed 
under  him,  Avas  standing  in  the  most  exposed  posi- 
tion, transported  with  rage,  his  face  suffused  wnth 
blood,  brandishing  his  sword  like  a  madman.  An 
orderly  sent  by  iSTapoleon  found  him  in  this  condi- 
tion, and  expressed  the  Emperor's  wish  that  D'Erlon 
should  support  him  at  all  hazards,  so  that  he  might 
make  an  end  of  the  Prussian  army.  ISTey  admitted 
that  he  had  just  sent  D'Erlon  an  imperative  order 
to  return,  and  it  was  impossible  to  make  him  recall 
it.  Wellington  received  reinforcements  between  six 
and  seven  in  the  evening,  but  the  battle  continued  till 
nine  o'clock,  the  two  armies  continuing  to  occupy 
the  positions  which  they  had  held  in  the  morning. 
Just  at  this  moment  D'Erlon  advanced  from  Frasnes 
along  the  Brussels  road.  In  this  bloody  but  in- 
decisive battle  the  French  had  lost  four  thousand 
three  hundred  men,  and  the  allies  four  thousand 
seven  hundred. 

As  we  have  already  narrated,  although  the  centre 
of  the  Prussians  had  been  broken  at  Ligny,''the  two 
wings  were  able  to  retreat  in  good  order,  and  there- 
fore the  Emperor  did  not  at  first  think  of  pursuing 
them  beyond  Sombreffe.  Also  he  was  anxious  about 
his  left  wins:,  as  durinc;  the  wdiole  of  the  dav  he  had 
not  received  a  single  despatch  from  ^ey.  So  when 
Grouchy  came  to  him  at  Fleurus  at  11  p.m.  to  ask 
for  orders,  he  told  him  to  pursue  the  enemy  at  day- 
break with  the  cavalry  of  Pajol  and  Exelmans. 
Wliilst  N'apoleon  was  at  breakfast  about  seven 
o'clock  in  the  morning  of  June  17,  he  received  a  re- 
port of  the  battle  of  Quatre-Bras,  and  also  a  despatch 


24-8  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

from  Pujol,  reporting  that  the  Prussians  were  re- 
treating in  the  direction  of  Liege  and  Namiir,  and 
that  he  had  already  made  a  number  of  prisoners. 
At  the  same  time  Grouchy  came  for  orders  and  was 
told  to  accomi^any  the  Emperor  to  the  mill  of  Brye ; 
Soult  also  wrote  to  ISTey  ahout  the  same  time,  that 
he  was  to  send  accurate  information  about  his  posi- 
tion. If  the  English  army  was  at  Quatre-Bras,  the 
Emperor  would  attack  it  from  the  l^amur  road,  but 
if  there  w^as  only  a  rear-guard,  Ney  was  to  attack  it 
and  take  possession.  A  little  before  9  a.m.  Na- 
poleon left  Fleurus  to  visit  the  field  of  battle.  Ar- 
riving at  the  mill  of  Bussy,  he  passed  his  troops  in 
review,  and  the  shouts  of  "  Vive  I'Empereur !  "  were 
heard  by  the  enemy  two  miles  off.  He  then  had  a 
long  discussion  with  Grouchy  about  politics,  ap- 
parently adjourning  the  moment  of  decisive  military 
action. 

About  11  A.M.  he  received  three  pieces  of  in- 
formation, one  from  ISTey  that  the  English  were  hold- 
ing Quatre-Bras  in  force,  another  from  Pajol  that  he 
had  captured  guns  and  carriages  on  the  Namur  road, 
and  a  third  from  Exelmans  that  the  enemy  was 
massing  at  Gembloux.  Thereupon  he  sent  Lobau 
and  Drouot  to  support  jSTey  at  Quatre-Bras,  while  he 
gave  the  following  order  to  Grouchy :  "  Whilst  I 
am  marching  against  the  English,  you  will  pursue 
the  Prussians ;  you  will  have  under  your  orders  the 
corps  of  Vandamme  and  Gerard,  the  division  of 
Teste  and  the  cavalry  of  Pajol,  Exelmans,  and  Mil- 
haud."  On  second  thoughts,  however,  he  transferred 
some  of  Grouchy's  cavalry  to  himself.  A  short 
time  afterwards  he  expanded  in  writing  the  verbal 
orders  given  to  Grouchy,  commanding  him  to  con- 
centrate all  his  forces  at  Gembloux,  which  was  a 


THE  BATTLE  OF  QUATRE-BRAS.  249 

middle  point  between  l^amur,  Liege,  and  Wavre ;  to 
send  scouts  in  the  direction  of  Namur  and  Maes- 
tricht  to  ascertain  the  line  of  the  enemy's  retreat ;  to 
follow  the  Prussians  and  to  discover  their  plans  in 
the  pursuit ;  to  ascertain  whether  Bliicher  is  intend- 
ing to  join  the  English.  Pie  also  stated  that  his 
headquarters  would  be  at  Quatre-Bras,  about  ten 
miles  distant  from  Gembloux,  and  that  Grouchy 
was  to  communicate  with  him  by  the  Namur  road. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  in  the  battle  of  Ligny 
Bliicher  was  thrown  from  his  horse  and  nearly  made 
prisoner.  He  was  carried  into  a  cottage,  bruised 
and  fainting,  and  his  staff  did  not  know  whether 
he  was  a  prisoner  or  free,  dead  or  alive.  The  com- 
mand devolved  upon  Gneisenau,  and  the  responsi- 
bility of  determining  the  line  of  retreat  depended 
upon  him.  On  horseback,  in  the  middle  of  the  road 
from  Brye,  he  consulted  his  map  by  the  light  of  the 
moon,  and  gave  the  order  that  the  retreat  would  be 
on  Tilly  and  Wavre.  Wellington  wrote  a  few  dciys 
afterwards  to  the  King  of  Holland  that  this  was 
"  the  decisive  moment  of  the  generation."  Following 
the  letter  of  his  instructions  but  not  the  spirit, 
Grouchy  occupied  Gembloux  on  the  night  of  June 
17,  and  prepared  to  follow  the  Prussians,  partly  on 
the  road  to  Wavre,  and  partly  on  that  to  Liege  on 
the  morning  of  June  18. 

At  Quatre-Bras  French  and  English  remained  in 
their  positions  during  the  morning  of  June  17. 
Wellington  had  slept  at  Genappe,  but  returned  to 
Quatre-Bras  early  in  the  morning.  He  sent  a 
messenger  who  heard  from  Ziethen  that  the  Prus- 
si  am  army  had  been  beaten  and  was  retiring  on 
Wavre,  and  delivered  the  information  to  Wellington 
about    7.30    a.m.      Wellington   now   knew   that    he 


250  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

must  retreat,  to  avoid  being  attacked  by  ^ey  iu 
front  and  i^apoleon  in  the  flank,  and  he  determined 
to  take  up  a  position  on  the  plateau  of  Mont-Saint- 
Jean  which  he  had  carefully  reconnoitred  in  the 
preceding  year,  but  was  ol)liged  to  delay  the  retreat 
till  10  A.M.  At  this  moment  a  Prussian  officer  ar- 
rived, sent  by  Gneisenau  to  inform  Wellington  that 
it  was  intended  to  concentrate  the  whole  Prussian 
army  at  Wavre.  The  Duke  replied :  "  I  am  going 
to  take  up  a  position  at  Mont-Saint-Jean,  and  shall 
there  await  ISTapoleon  and  engage  a  battle,  if  I  have 
the  hope  of  being  supported  by  a  single  Prussian 
corps.  But  if  this  support  fails  me,  I  shall  be  com- 
pelled to  sacrifice  Brussels  and  to  retreat  behind  the 
Scheldt." 

The  English  now  retired  from  the  position  of 
Quatre-Bras,  leaving  the  cavalry  of  Lord  Uxbridge 
to  cover  their  retreat.  About  1  p.m.  Xapoleon  ar- 
rived at  Marbais,  about  three  miles  from  Quatre- 
Bras,  expecting  to  hear  the  sound  of  Xey's  guns. 
When  he  heard  nothing  he  determined  to  push  on  to 
Quatre-Bras,  and  formed  his  troops  in  order  of 
battle;  but  he  soon  received  information  that  no 
troops  remained  in  that  position  except  the  cavalry 
of  Lord  LTxbridge.  It  was  now  2  p.m.  and  a  heavy 
storm  was  coming  up.  Suddenly  Lord  LTxbridge 
saw  appear  on  a  ridge  of  rising  ground  a  horseman, 
followed  by  a  small  escort,  who  stood  out  against 
the  sky  like  a  statue.  Lord  Uxbridge  recognised 
ISTapoleon  and  cried,  "  Fire,  and  aim  well."  The 
English  gims  were  replied  to  by  the  artillery  of  the 
guard.  Then  the  lightning  flashed  and  the  rain  be- 
gan to  fall  in  torrents.  The  English  galloped  away, 
the  French  following  like  a  fox-hunt,  hussars  and 
artillery  going  like  mad,  blinded  by  the  lightning 


THE  BATTLE  OF  QUATRE-BRAS.  251 

and  lashed  by  the  rain.  Lord  Uxbridge  rode  by  the 
side  of  his  troops  crying,  "  Faster,  faster,  for  the 
love  of  God,  gallop  or  you  will  be  taken,"  the 
French  lancers  following  quickly  at  their  heels. 

The  English  arrived  at  Genappe,  crossed  the  Dyle, 
and  took  up  a  position  to  the  north.  A  combat  en- 
sued in  the  streetsoftlie  village,  and  the  English  were 
slowly  driven  back.  Napoleon  arrived  upon  the 
scene,  dripping  wet,  and,  placing  a  battery  in  posi- 
tion, called  out  to  the  gunners  in  accents  of  rage  and 
hatred,  "  Fire  !  fire  !  they  are  English."  After  pass- 
ing Genappe  the  pace  slackened  considerably  and  the 
roads  became  almost  impassable  from  the  rain.  N^a- 
poleon  arrived  at  an  inn  called  the  "  Belle  Alliance," 
so  named  because  the  old  and  ugly  innkeeper  had 
married  a  young  and  pretty  peasant.  At  6.30  p.m. 
the  French  hussars  were  pursuing  the  Brunswick  in- 
fantry down  the  hollow,  when  they  were  brought  up 
by  the  firing  of  the  English  artillery.  The  rain 
had  ceased,  but  a  damp  fog  enveloped  the  plain. 
The  Emperor  at  last  became  certain  that  he  had  the 
whole  of  Wellington's  army  before  him  and  deter- 
mined to  halt. 

After  marking  out  the  bivouacs  for  the  different 
divisions  the  Emperor  retired  to  sleep  at  the  farm  of 
Le  CailloUj  where  the  rooms  which  he  occupied  are 
still  to  be  seen.  The  French  passed  a  terrible  night 
in  the  wet  corn-fields ;  the  English  were  better  off 
because  the  bulk  of  their  armv  had  reached  their 
position  before  the  rain  began.  The  cavalry  of  Lord 
Uxbridge  suffered  most.  Both  commanders  spent 
the  night  in  anxiety ;  iSI  apoleon  felt  certain  that  he 
conld  destroy  the  English,  provided  that  they  did  not 
retreat,  and  if  the  Prussians  did  not  come  up  in 
force  to  assist  them.     Wellington  scarcely  dared  to 


252  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

fight  unless  he  was  sure  of  Prussian  co-operation,  but 
lie  received  a  letter  from  Bliicher  at  his  headquarters 
in  the  village  of  Waterloo  about  2  a.m.  saying  that 
he  should  be  able  to  give  the  English  some  assistance. 
ISTapoleon  slept  but  little;  at  about  1  a.m.  he  visited 
the  outposts  with  Bertrand,  the  rain  falling  in  tor- 
rents. The  army  of  the  allies  was  plunged  in  sleep^^ 
l)ut  red  fires  gleamed  on  the  horizon.  There  was  no 
sign  of  retreat,  and  the  Emperor  knew  that  the 
day  would  witness  a  decisive  battle.  He  felt  certain 
of  victory,  and  that  the  pale  sun  wliich  now  began  to 
pierce  the  clouds  would  witness  the  destruction  of 
tlie  English,  but  his  patience  was  sorely  tried  by 
having  to  delay  the  attack.  The  rain  had  ceased,  but 
the  ground  was  extremely  heavy ;  orders,  however, 
were  given  to  be  ready  for  the  battle  at  nine  o'clock. 


#.' 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WATERLOO.  253 


CHAPTER  XLII. 

THE    BATTLE    OF    WATERLOO. 

The  battle  of  Waterloo  was  fought  between  two 
heights,  each  rising  to  the  elevation  of  about  sixty  or 
eighty  feet,  running  parallel  to  each  other  from 
west  to  east.  They  are  separated  by  two  valleys, 
traversed  by  the  high-road  from  Charleroi  to  Brus- 
sels, the  valley  of  Smohain  to  the  east,  and  that  of 
Braine-l'Alleud  to  the  west ;  the  distance  between 
Belle  Alliance  and  Mont  St.  Jean  is  about  three- 
quarters  of  a  mile  as  the  crow  flies.  The  British 
position  was  well  protected  by  hedges  and  a  deep 
road ;  there  were  two  outlying  natural  fortresses, 
the  chateau  of  Hougoumont  in  front  of  the  British 
right,  and  La  Haye  Sainte  in  front  of  their  centre ; 
behind  their  position  the  ground  sloped  considerably, 
£0  that  neither  the  position  nor  the  movement  of 
troops  in  their  rear  could  be  observed  by  the  enemy. 

The  British  troops  woke  at  break  of  day,  liglited 
their  fires,  prepared  their  breakfast,  cleaned  their 
uniforms  and  their  arms,  and  at  about  6  a.m.  took 
up  their  position  for  the  battle.  The  first  line  was 
drawn  up  behind  the  road  to  Ohain,  deep  and  lined 
by  hedges,  the  guards  of  Byng  and  Maitland,  then 
Colin  Halkett  and  Kielmansegge,,  and  Onipteda, 
stretching  from  the  Nivelles  road  to  the  Brussels  road. 
On  the  other  side  of  the  road  followed  Kempt,  Pack 
and  Picton,  the  Dutch  of  Bylandt  and  the  Hano- 
verians of  Best.     These  nine  brigades  formed  the 


254:  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

front  of  the  allied  army,  which  was  drawn  up  with 
a  right  and  left  centre  and  two  wings.  The  right 
wing,  consisting  of  the  troops  of  Adams,  Mitchell, 
Williams,  Halkett,  and  Dnplat,  w^as  drawn  up  at 
right  angles  on  the  other  side  of  the  Nivelle  road, 
the  Belgians  of  Chasse  being  at  the  extreme  right 
in  front  of  Braine  I'Alleud.  The  left  consisted  of 
the  Nassau  brigade  of  the  Prince  of  Saxe-Weimar, 
and  the  Hanoverian  brigade  of  Wincke,  flanked  by 
the  cavalry  of  Vandeleur  and  Vivian.  There  were 
also  two  lines  of  reserve,  the  composition  of  which 
we  need  not  particularise. 

Wellington,  who  had  experienced  in  Spain  the 
impetuosity  of  the  French  attacks,  employed  special 
tactics  to  resist  them.  He  placed  his  first  line  of 
infantry  behind  a  ridge,  so  that  it  might  be  invisi- 
ble before  the  attack  and  during  the  attack  itself. 
Not  till  the  assailants  had  actually  gained  the  sum- 
mit of  the  ridge,  confused  by  the  fire  of  skirmishers 
and  of  artillery,  did  the  line  of  soldiers  discover  it- 
self, firing  point-blank  at  a  short  distance,  and  fol- 
lowing up  with  a  bayonet  charge.  This  manoeuvre 
was  used  with  special  jjersistence  at  Waterloo,  and 
the  English  troops  were  all  drawn  up  a  hundred  or 
two  hundred  yards  behind  the  road  w^hich  constituted 
their  front.  By  this  means  they,  as  well  as  the  re- 
serves, were  comj^letely  concealed  from  view. 
Hougoumont  was  strongly  occupied  by  seven  com- 
panies of  the  guards  and  other  troops.  The  Duke 
commanded  seventeen  thousand  men  and  one  hun- 
dred and  eighty-four  cannon,  having  left  seventeen 
thousand  men  and  thirty  guns  at  Hal  to  protect  his 
right.  He  rode  that  day  his  favourite  horse 
"  Copenhagen,"  who  died  at  a  good  old  age  in  the 
paddocks  of  Strathfieldsaye. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WATERLOO.  255 

This  was  the  first  occasion  on  which  IsTapoleon 
had  ever  come  into  direct  conflict  with  English  troops, 
and  the  confidence  which  he  felt  was  not  shared  by 
those  of  his  generals  who  had  had  experience  of  them. 
Soult  deeply  regretted  the  separation  of  thirty  thou- 
sand men  under  Grouchy  and  pressed  Napoleon  to 
recall  them,  but  the  Emperor  replied  with  temper: 
"  Because  you  have  been  beaten  by  Wellington  you 
consider  him  a  good  general,  but  I  tell  you  that 
Wellington  is  a  bad  general,  that  the  English  are  bad 
troops,  and  that  it  will  all  be  over  before  dinner." 
"'  I  only  hope  so,"  replied  Soult.  Soon  afterwards 
General  Keille,  who  had  so  often  fought  against  the 
English  in  Spain,  entered  the  room,  and  Napoleon 
asked  him  his  opinion  about  the  English  army.  He 
said :  "  Well  posted,  according  to  Wellington's  usual 
manner,  and  attacked  in  front  I  consider  the  English 
infantry  as  invincible,  on  account  of  their  calm  tena- 
city, and  the  superiority  of  their  fire;  before  charg- 
ing with  the  bayonet,  you  will  have  to  wait  till  half 
the  attacking  party  is  killed.  But  the  English  army 
is  less  agile,  less  supple  and  less  able  to  manoeuvre 
than  our  own ;  if  it  cannot  be  conquered  by  a  direct 
attack,  it  miglit  be  by  manoeuvring."  Napoleon 
seemed  to  be  irritated  by  these  remarks  and  refused 
to  believe  them. 

Napoleon  now  rode  forward  in  front  of  La  Belle 
Alliance ;  he  employed  as  guide  a  man  named  Decos- 
ter,  who  was  tied  upon  a  horse,  which  was  itself  at- 
tached to  the  saddle  of  one  of  the  escort.  It  is  said 
that  he  purposely  gave  false  information.  He  then 
took  up  his  position  on  a  little  hill,  about  a  mile  to  the 
rear  of  La  Belle  Alliance,  where  he  had  chairs  placed 
and  a  table  upon  which  he  could  spread  his  maps. 
^Jerome  Bonaparte  about  this  time  told  his  brother 


256  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

that  a  junction  was  expected  between  the  English  and 
the  Prussians  arriving  from  Wavre,  but  the  Emperor 
said  that  they  were  certain  to  be  stopped  by  Grouchy. 
Napoleon  now  proceeded  to  pass  his  troops  in  review, 
the  drums  beat,  the  trumpets  brayed,  the  bands 
played  a  patriotic  air;  as  they  passed  their  com- 
mander the  ensigns  dipped  their  colours,  the  cavalry 
brandished  their  sabres,  the  infantry  hoisted  their 
caps  on  the  point  of  their  bayonets;  while  cries  of 
"  Vive  I'Empereur "  drowned  all  other  sounds. 
Never  was  greater  enthusiasm  exhibited  than  in  this 
last  review,  and  far  away  in  the  distance  was  seen 
tlie  dark  red  line  of  the  English  troops.  Napoleon 
had  under  his  command  seventv-four  thousand  men 
and  two  hundred  and  forty-six  guns  against  the 
sixty-seven  thousand  soldiers  of  Wellington.  Never 
up  to  that  time  had  so  large  a  number  of  combatants 
been  confined  in  so  small  a  space ;  the  distance  from 
the  last  reserve  of  Wellington  to  the  position  of  the 
Emperor's  baggage  was  only  about  two  miles  and  a 
half,  and  the  front  of  each  army  did  not  exceed  two 
miles  in  length. 

The  battle  began  at  11.30  a.m.  by  an  artillery 
duel  and  by  an  attack  on  the  Chateau  of  Hougoumont 
made  by  Jerome  Bonaparte.  It  had  been  intended 
that  this  should  be  merely  a  feint  to  cover  the  main 
attack  upon  the  centre  of  the  allied  position,  but 
Hougoumont  liad  been  strongly  garrisoned  and  the 
walls  were  pierced  for  musketry,  so  that  it  offered 
serious  resistance.  Jerome,  contrary  to  orders,  per- 
sisted in  the  attack,  but  was  at  last  forced  to  retire, 
partly  into  the  wood,  and  partly  on  the  Nivelles  road. 
About  1  P.M.  Napoleon  was  preparing  to  make  his 
main  attack,  which  he  hoped  would  speedily  finish  the 
battle,  but  just  at  this  moment  he  perceived  a  dark 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WATERLOO.  257 

mass  appearing  about  six  miles  to  the  nortli-east,  and 
at  the  same  time  an  intercepted  letter  from  Billow  to 
Wellington  was  brought  in  which  he  announced  the 
arrival  of  his  corps.  Kapoleon  also  heard  that  the 
whole  Prussian  army  had  passed  the  night  at  Wavre. 
Upon  this  the  Emperor  sent  fresh  instructions  to 
Grouchy,  telling  him  to  manoeuvre  in  his  direction, 
and  to  lose  no  time  in  attacking  Billow's  corps.  He 
was  not  much  put  out  by  this  unwelcome  news,  but 
said  to  Soult:  "  This  morning  we  had  ninety  chances 
out  of  a  hundred  in  our  favour,  we  now  have  sixty, 
and  if  Grouchy  repairs  his  errors,  we  shall  gain  a  still 
more  decisive  victory,  because  Billow's  corps  will 
be  entirely  destroyed."  At  the  same  time  he  de- 
tached some  divisions  to  protect  his  right  flank. 

It  was  not  till  1.30  p.m.  that  ISTapoleon  gave  ^ey 
the  order  to  attack,  and  after  half  an  hour's  cannon- 
ade, the  assaultontheEnglishpositionbegan.  Thesol- 
diers  descended  into  the  valley  under  an  arch  of  bul- 
lets which  passed  over  their  heads.  Allix  attacked 
the  farm  of  La  Haye  Sainte,  which  like  Hougoumont 
was  strongly  defended.  Wellington  watched  the 
fight  from  the  foot  of  a  large  elm  tree,  which  grew 
in  the  angle  between  the  Ohain  and  the  Brussels 
roads.  At  first  everything  seemed  to  go  well  for  the 
French,  and  if  they  could  only  reach  the  ridge  and 
hold  it  long  enough  for  the  cavalry  to  come  up  the 
battle  would  be  over.  But,  as  we  have  said,  the 
English  troops  were  withdrawn  a  hundred  yards 
from  the  ridge  and  were  lying  down  in  the  corn  to 
avoid  the  bullets.  At  the  critical  moment  Picton 
called  on  his  men  to  rise;  they  fired  at  forty  paces, 
the  French  wavered ;  Picton  cried,  "  Charge ! 
Charge !  Hurrah !  "  and  drove  the  French  back, 
but  fell  in  the  moment  of  success,  pierced  by  a  ball 
17 


258  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

in  the  temple.  In  a  similar  manner  the  third  column 
was  rcpnlscd  by  the  Highlanders  of  Pack.  At  the 
same  instant  Somerset's  cavalry,  consisting  of  the 
first  and  second  Life  Guards, the  Blues  and  the  Royal 
Dragoons,  chased  the  French  cuirassiers  and  drove 
the  brigade  of  Travers  down  the  valley.  Ponson- 
by's  brigade  also  fell  upon  the  column  of  Donzalot, 
the  Highlanders  and  the  Scots  Greys  exchanging 
shouts  of  "  Scotland  for  ever !  "  The  French  troops, 
much  too  thickly  massed,  were  slaughtered  like  sheep, 
till  at  last  not  a  single  Frenchman  was  left  standing 
on  the  slopes  of  Mont  St.  Jean.  The  English  now 
galloped  down  the  valley  and  up  the  opposite  slope, 
but  they  were  received  by  the  French  reserve  and  re- 
pulsed with  considerable  loss,  the  gallant  Ponsonby 
being  killed  by  a  lancer.  The  slopes  of  the  hill, 
lately  instinct  with  vigorous  life,  w^ere  now  covered 
with  corpses,  as  they  would  be  on  the  day  after  a 
battle,  although  the  battle  was  only  just  beginning. 
Hougoumont  was  set  on  fire,  but  without  much  ad- 
vantage to  either  party. 

The  object  of  Wellington  was  to  hold  his  position 
until  the  Prussians  could  come  up ;  that  of  ISTapoleon 
was  to  finish  with  the  English  before  he  had  to  deal 
with  Bliicher.  About  3.30  p.m.  the  Emperor  or- 
dered iSTey  to  attack  La  Ilaye  Sainte  a  second  time, 
hoping  to  use  this  post  as  a  point  of  support  for  a  gen- 
eral assault.  The  onslaught  was  accompanied  by 
a  violent  cannonade,  the  like  of  which  had  not  been 
heard  by  the  oldest  soldiers.  The  English,  to 
avoid  it,  retired  behind  the  slope,  and  Ney,  think-- 
ing  that  they  were  retreating,  ordered  the  cavalry 
to  advance,  a  movement  of  which  it  is  possible  that 
ISTapoleon  was  ignorant.  Wellington  was  much  re- 
lieved when  he  saw  the  French  cavalry  advancing 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WATERLOO.        259 

to  attack  his  troops,  which  were  waiting,  perfectly 
fresh,  behind  the  ridge.  The  men  were  formed  into 
squares,  cannon  placed  before  them  with  orders  to 
fire,  and  then  leaving  their  guns,  to  retire  into  the 
squares.  The  cavalry  rode  against  the  artillery, 
exposed  to  a  murderous  fire  upon  their  flank,  as  they 
laboriously  mounted  the  slope.  The  guns  were  for 
the  moment  captured,  but  the  French  had  no  means 
of  spiking  them  or  carrying  them  off.  Twenty  bat- 
talions of  the  allies  were  thus  formed  into  squares, 
their  fire  rattled  upon  the  cuirasses  of  the  enemy  like 
hail  on  a  slated  roof,  but  no  efforts  of  the  French 
cavalry  could  break  the  British  squares.  They  were 
at  last  driven  from  the  plateau  by  a  charge  of  Ux- 
bridge's  horse,  and  the  gunners  recovering  their 
pieces  turned  them  with  murderous  effect  against  the 
fugitives. 

Once  more  the  brave  cavalry  of  Milhaud  and  Le- 
febvre-Desnouettes,  re-forming  in  the  hollow,  re- 
s-amed  the  charge,  once  more  they  laboriously  climbed 
the  heights  and  captured  the  guns.  Some  of  the 
English  thought  the  day  was  lost.  The  Emperor, 
when  at  last  he  saw  what  had  occurred,  remarked  to 
Soult  that  this  premature  attack  might  lose  the  bat- 
tle; it  should  have  been  made  an  hour  later,  still  it 
was  necessary  to  support  what  had  been  done.  He 
gave  orders  to  Kellermann  to  charge  with  his  heavy 
brigade,  but  at  this  very  time  he  was  being  attacked 
by  the  Prussians  on  his  right  flank. 

Bllicher  joined  Billow  about  1  p.m.  and  the  two 
generals  marched  in  the  direction  of  Plancenoit,  ar- 
riving within  three  miles  of  it  at  4  p.m.  The  vil- 
lage was  defended  by  Lobau,  but  he  was  compelled 
to  evacuate  it  just  as  the  direct  attacks  on  Mont  St. 
Jean  were  seen  to  be  a  failure.    At  about  5.30  p.m. 


2G0  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

more  than  sixty  squadrons  of  cavalry  were  mounting 
the  slopes',  eight  or  nine  thousand  horsemen  in  a 
space  only  large  enough  for  one  thousand  to  deploy 
in ;  they  covered  the  whole  ground  between  Hougou- 
mont  and  La  Haye  Sainte,  and  their  files  were  so 
close  that  the  horses  were  pushed  upwards  by  the 
pressure.  The  mass  of  cuirasses,  helmets,  and  sabres 
resembled  a  sea  of  steel.  They  were  met  by  the  same 
tactics  as  before — abandonment  of  the  guns,  and  for- 
mation into  squares  upon  which  the  French  produced 
noeffect,  although  some  squares  were  charged  as  many 
as  thirteen  times,  l^ey,  after  having  three  horses 
killed  under  him,  stood  close  to  the  side  of  an  aban- 
doned battery,  striking  the  mouth  of  an  English 
gun  with  the  flat  of  his-  sword.  At  last  Wellington, 
having  left  the  square  of  the  73d  regiment  in  which 
he  had  sought  refuge,  urged  his  cavalry  once  more 
upon  the  broken  French,  and  they  were  driven  down 
the  slope  for  the  third  time.  Once  more  they 
charged  again,  with  Xey  at  their  head  shouting, 
"  Vive  I'Emj^ereur !  " — a  charge  as  fruitless  as  those 
which  had  preceded  it.  They  crossed  the  line  of 
guns,  threw  themselves  against  the  rampart  of 
corpses  by  which  each  square  was  protected,  and  re- 
tired of  their  own  accord  to  the  bottom  of  the  vallev. 
In  these  furious  attacks  ISTey  had  forgotten  his  prin- 
cipal duty,  which  was  to  capture  La  Haye  Sainte, 
and  he  was  now  at  0  p.m.  ordered  by  ISTapoleon  io 
take  it  at  all  hazards.  The  task  was  at  length 
achieved  when  the  ammunition  of  the  garrison  who 
held  it  was  exhausted,  and  Baring  led  back  to  the 
presence  of  his  chief  only  forty-two  men  out  of  his 
nine  companies. 

The  centre  of  the  allies  was  holding  firm,  but  on 
the  left  the  line  was  wavering.     Wellington  became 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WATERLOO.  261 

anxious;  he  saw  the  Prussians  on  the  French  flank 
hut  received  no  support  himself ;  when  asked  for  or- 
ders he  replied,  "  I  have  no  orders  to  give  but  to  re- 
sist till  the  last  man."  Ney  saw  the  opportunity, 
but  he  had  no  troops  at  his  disposal.  He  sent  an 
orderly  to  the  Emperor  to  ask  for  some  infantry, 
but  Kapoleon  replied :  "  Soldiers !  where  do  you 
think  I  can  get  them  from  ?  Do  you  wish  me  to 
make  them  ?  "  It  is  true  that  Xapoleon  had  at  his 
disposal  at  this  moment  eight  battalions  of  the  old 
guard  and  six  of  the  middle  guard,  and  it  is  possible 
that  if  he  had  used  them  just  at  that  moment,  the 
English  line  might  have  been  forced.  But,  having 
no  reserve  of  cavalrv,  he  needed  them  to  defend  his 
own  position.  The  Prussian  artillery  were  already 
playing  upon  the  heights  of  La  Belle  Alliance,  and 
the  guard  was  needed  to  drive  the  Prussians  out  of 
Plancenoit,  which  they  had  just  captured  from 
Lobau. 

It  was  now  past  7  p.m.^  but  there  were  still  two 
hours  more  of  daylight,  and  the  cannon  of  Grouchy 
were  heard  seven  miles  to  the  right.  It  was  natural 
to  suppose  that  he  was  engaged  with  the  Prussians 
and  would  be  able  to  prevent  them  from  effectively 
helping  the  English.  The  Emperor  imagined  that 
Wellington  had  engaged  the  whole  of  his  troops, 
while  he  still  held  in  his  hand  the  old  guard,  that 
army  of  invincibles.  He  gave  orders  to  Drouot  to 
advance  with  nine  battalions  of  the  guard,  formed 
into  squares,  leaving  two  at  Plancenoit  and  three  on 
the  ridge.  ISTapoleon  put  himself  at  the  head  of  the 
first  square  and  descended  the  slope  down  to  La  Have 
Sainte.  It  is  just  possible  that  the  attack  might 
have  succeeded  if  undertaken  half  an  hour  earlier, 
but  the  decisive  moment  was  now  past,   and   dur- 


262  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

iiig  the  recapture  of  Planeenoit  and  tlie  prerpara- 
tions  for  the  final  attack  Wellington  had  been  able 
to  strengthen  his  position. 

Just  at  this  moment  a  fresh  body  of  Prussians  was 
seen  to  be  approaching  the  field  of  battle  on  the  Eng- 
lish left  at  Smohain,  and  the  first  effect  of  their  ar- 
rival was  to  set  free  the  cavalry  of  Vandeleur  and 
Vivian  which  were  covering  that  side  of  the  British 
army.  Ziethen,  whose  corps  it  was,  had  arrived  at 
Ohain,  with  his  van-guard,  at  6  p.m.  Here  Colonel 
Freemantle  came  to  him,  sent  by  Wellington,  and 
begged  him  to  send  his  chief  three  thousand 
men  without  delay,  Ziethen  was  unwilling  to 
run  the  risk  of  having  his  army  beaten  in  de- 
tail, and  he  was  not  persuaded  until  Miiffling,  a 
Prussian  general  attached  to  the  English  army,  had 
pressed  the  request  in  person.  The  Prussians  were 
marching  over  Smohain  just  as  the  guard  was  de- 
scending to  La  Haye  Sainte.  The  troops  began  to 
waver  at  the  sight  of  this  new  enemy,  appearing  in 
the  most  critical  quarter ;  but  the  Emperor  ad- 
dressed them  and  tliev  moved  forward  aeain.  The 
arrival  of  these  fresh  forces  made  the  defeat  of  the 
French  almost  certain ;  but  it  is  doubtful  whether 
l^apoleon  could  at  this  moment  have  broken  off  the 
battle,  and  it  was  probably  wiser  to  make  a  last  su- 
preme effort  than  to  anticipate  a  rout,  which  could 
hardly  be  v;orse  if  it  followed  a  defeat. 

The  effect  of  Ziethen's  arrival  was  to  precipitate 
the  Emperor's  attack.  When  six  battalions  of  the 
guard  had  reached  La  Haye  Sainte,  he  placed  one  of 
them  on  a  little  hill  between  that  farm  and  Hougou- 
mont,  and  gave  the  command  of  the  rest  to  Xey,  or- 
dering him  to  attack  the  right  centre  of  the  English. 
At  the  same  time  he  commanded  the  artillery  to 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WATERLOO.  263 

quicken  their  fire  and  the  cavalry  to  support  the  ad- 
vance of  the  guard.  He  also  charged  La  Bedoyere  to 
pass  among  the  soldiers  and  to  announce  the  speedy 
arrival  of  Grouchy.  The  troops  were  encouraged 
by  this  news  and  reiterated  cries  of  "  Vive  I'Em- 
pereur !  "  whilst  the  wounded  made  way  for  the 
march  of  the  columns.  Wellington  made  full  pre- 
parations to  meet  the  attack.  He  brought  up  his 
reserve  artillery  and  charged  the  gunners  not  to  re- 
ply to  the  French  cannon,  but  to  concentrate  their 
fire  on  the  columns  of  attack. 

The  five  battalions  of  the  guard,  formed  into 
squares,  marched  in  echelons  with  the  right  fore- 
most, an  oblique  formation  which  has  been  blamed 
by  military  critics.  The  consequence  of  this  was 
that  they  attacked  the  English  line  at  five  different 
points,  and  at  each  of  those  points,  except  one,  the 
attack  was  at  the  first  moment  successful,  although 
the  guard  was  speedily  overpowered  by  the  steadi- 
ness of  their  opponents  and  the  deadly  artillery  fire. 
The  third  echelon  reached  the  ridge  without  meeting 
any  infantry,  and  they  were  approaching  the  Ohain 
road,  when  suddenly  at  twenty  paces  the  guards  of 
Maitland  stood  up  in  the  corn,  four  deep,  like  a  red 
brick  wall.  Their  first  volley  killed  three  hundred 
men;  the  French  hesitated  and  wavered,  then  the 
English  guards  were  ordered  to  advance,  and  they 
drove  the  enemy  victoriously  down  the  slope  to 
Hougoumont,  French  and  English  being  in  such 
confusion  that  firing  became  impossible. 

The  cry  which  was  raised  of  "  The  guard  gives 
way  "  sounded  the  knell  of  the  Grand  Army.  The 
cavalry  of  the  guard  who  were  to  support  the  attack 
were  paralysed.  There  was  a  shout  of  "  Sauve  qui 
pent,"  "  We  are  betrayed,"  and  a  general  rout  began. 


2G4  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

The  Prussians  pressed  on  to  the  pursuit,  and  on  the 
east  of  the  great  road  there  was  the  wildest  confusion. 
There  was  the  moment  for  which  Wellington  had 
waited  so  long.  He  rode  to  the  edge  of  the  ridge, 
took  off  his  hat  and  waved  it  in  the  air.  Immedi- 
ately the  whole  British  line  advanced  just  as  they 
happened  to  stand,  passing  over  dead  and  wounded 
alike,  forty  thousand  men,  of  all  arms  and  many 
nations,  marching  to  the  sound  of  drums,  trumpets, 
and  bagpipes  in  the  first  shades  of  the  evening  twi- 
light. The  French  made  no  resistance.  La  Haye 
Sainte  was  abandoned,  so  was  Hougoumont  and  its 
wood.  The  cavalrv  of  Vivian  and  Vandeleur  cut 
the  fugitives  to  pieces  with  cries  of  "  No  quar- 
ter!  "  ^ 

The  Emperor  was  forming  his  best  troops  in 
columns  of  attack  when  he  saw  his  line  of  battle 
suddenly  collapse.  He  knew  that  he  was  irremedi- 
ably defeated,  but  he  still  had  hope  of  organising 
the  retreat,  and  for  this  purpose  he  formed  three 
squares  of  the  old  guard,  placing  them  about  a  hun- 
dred yards  above  La  Llaye  Sainte,  but  they  were  not 
able  to  make  head  against  the  English  cavalry.  I*^ey 
was  standing  near  the  road,  his  head  bare,  his  face 
blue  watli  powder,  his  uniform  in  tatters,  his  epau- 
lettes cut  in  two,  and  the  fragment  of  a  sword  in  his 
hand.  He  had  done  marvels  that  day,  but  he  could 
not  find  tlie  death  which  he  was  so  anxious  to  meet. 

The  Lnperial  Guard,  now  at  the  end  of  its  exist- 
ence, signalised  itself  bv  one  final  act  of  braverv 
and  endeavour.  The  two  battalions  of  the  first 
grenadiers,  commanded  by  General  Petit,  were 
posted  in  squares  on  either  side  of  the  wood,  near  the 
house  of  Decoster.  They  were  the  chosen  troops 
of  all,  a  living  and  moving  fortress,  and  with  them 


THE  BATTLE  OF  WATERLOO.  265 

it  might  still  be  possible  to  cover  the  retreat.  The 
Emperor  was  seated  on  horseback  in  the  centre  of 
the  square  of  the  first  battalion,  and  for  some  time 
they  held  their  own  against  all  attacks.  At  length 
they  were  compelled  to  give  way,  and  the  Emperor 
rode  before  them,  accompanied  by  Sonlt,  Drouot, 
Bertrand  and  Loban.  At  the  farm  of  Lo  Caillou 
he  found  that  his  baggage  liad  been  sent  on  to 
Genappe. 

At  9.15  P.M.,  when  it  was  already  dusk,  Welling- 
ton and  Bliicher  met  outside  the  tavern  of  La  Belle 
Alliance,  and  it  was  decided  that  the  pursuit  should 
be  continued  throughout  the  night.  The  English 
were  worn  out  with  ten  hours  of  fighting,  and  the 
Prussians  had  marched  fifteen  miles  over  bad  roads. 
Nevertheless  Bliicher  ordered  his  cavalry  to  pursue 
the  enemy  so  long  as  they  had  a  man  or  a  horse  able 
to  stand.  Wellington's  troops  stood  still,  and  as  the 
Prussians  marched  past  them  saluted  them  with  a 
"Hip!  Ilip!  Hurrah!"  The  pursuit  continued 
past  Genappe,  past  Frasnes,  the  remains  of  the  old 
guard  alone  preserving  any  order,  and  at  five  o'clock 
on  the  following  morning  N^apoleon  reached  Char- 
leroi,  from  which  he  had  set  out  with  such  high  hopes 
three  days  before. 


PART  NINE. 
THE  WAR  IX  THE  CRIMEA. 


CHAPTER  XLIII. 

THE  BATTLE   OF  THE  AEMA. 

The  causes  of  the  Crimean  War,  and  the  strange 
series  of  events  which  brought  into  close  alliance 
the  two  European  powers  whose  hatreds  and  struggles 
have  been  the  subject  of  tlie  preceding  book,  belong 
to  political  history,  and  even  if  it  fell  within  our 
purpose  to  narrate  them,  it  may  be  doubted  whether 
material  for  a  true  account  or  for  an  impartial 
judgment  is  yet  available.  It  is  enough  to  say  that 
in  April,  1854,  twenty  thousand  English  troops, 
under  the  command  of  Lord  Raglan,  who  as  Lord 
Eitzroy  Somerset  had  been  the  intimate  friend  of 
Wellington  and  had  lost  an  arm  at  Waterloo,  and  a 
Erench  armv  of  more  than  twice  that  strenc:th  under 
Marshal  St.  Arnaud,  landed  at  Gallipoli  in  the  Dar- 
danelles and  eventually  bombarded  Odessa.  A  coun- 
cil of  Avar  was  held  in  Varna  to  decide  upon  further 
operations.  Eerkat  Pasha  recommended  a  landing 
in  Asia  with  the  purpose  of  driving  the  Russians 
from  the  Caucasus,  a  proposition  which  met  with 
favour  from  the  English ;  but  St.  Arnaud  was  in 
favour  of  an  attack  upon  Sebastopol,  and  Lord  Rag- 
266 


THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  ALMA.  267 

Ian  agreed  with  him,  as  being  the  best  method  of 
annihilating  the  naval  powers  of  Russia  in  the  Black 
Sea.  Fifteen  hundred  men  of  the  allied  armies  had 
already  perished  in  the  pestilential  swamps  of  the 
Dobrudsha,  but  the  remaining  forces,  to  the  number 
of  fifty-five  thousand  with  seven  thousand  Turks, 
landed  on  September  14  at  a  short  distance  from 
Eupatoria,  on  the  west  coast  of  the  Peninsula. 

This  point  had  been  chosen  because  there  was  suffi- 
cient space  for  the  two  armies  to  land  together  and  be- 
cause the  troops  would  be  protected  by  the  fire  of  the 
ships.  It  was  four  days  before  the  whole  of  the 
forces  were  disembarked  and  in  a  condition  to  ad- 
vance. The  British  force  numbered  about  twenty- 
six  thousand  infantry,  sixty  guns,  and  the  Light 
Brigade  of  cavalry  about  one  thousand  strong.  The 
French  had  twenty-eight  thousand  infantry  and  the 
Turks  seven  thousand,  with  sixty-eight  guns,  but  no 
cavalry. 

The  advance  of  the  armies  began  on  September 
19,  the  French  being  on  the  right,  next  the  sea. 
They  were  moving  straight  for  Sebastopol,  about 
twenty-five  miles  distant.  Through  their  front  ran 
the  post-road  to  Eupatoria,  but  the  ground  was  such 
that  the  army  could  move  any^vhere  and  roads  were 
needless.  The  cattle,  sheep,  carriages  and  pack- 
mules  were  in  the  rear,  and  the  cavalry  still  further 
behind  kept  everything  moving.  Early  in  the  after- 
noon the  Bulganak  was  reached,  and  it  was  here  that 
the  enemy  was  first  seen.  After  a  few  shots  had 
been  interchanged,  the  army  bivouacked  on  the 
stream  and  passed  the  night  unmolested.  On  the 
next  morning  the  army  moved  onward,  crossing  a 
succession  of  grassy  ridges,  and  about  noon  from  the 
top  of  a  ridge  they  looked  down  upon  the  valley  of 


268  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  Alma,  on  the  opposite  side  of  which  the  Russians 
had  taken  up  a  defensive  position,  their  army  of 
thirty-three  thousand  infantry,  three  thousand  four 
hundred  cavalry  and  one  hundred  and  twenty  guns  be- 
ing commanded  by  Prince  Menchikoff.  The  allies 
halted  for  some  time  on  coming  in  sight  of  the  enemy, 
whilst  Lord  Raglan  and  St.  Arnaud  arranged  the 
general  order  of  attack.  The  position  before  them 
was,  according  to  General  Ilamley,  very  difficult  of 
access  on  the  right,  very  advantageous  for  defence 
in  the  centre,  and  with  open  and  undefended  ground 
on  their  left.  It  would  probably  therefore  have  been 
better  to  have  neglected  the  j^art  near  the  sea,  to 
have  carried  tlieir  whole  line  inland  until  their  rieht 
was  across  the  post-road,  and  their  left  extended  be- 
vond  the  Russian  ric-ht,  in  which  case  a  defeat  would 
have  been  destructive  to  the  Russians.  Menchikoff, 
on  the  other  hand,  could  with  advantage  have  formed 
across  the  English  left  upon  the  road  to  Simpheropol, 
and  thus  made  up  for  his  deficiency  in  numbers. 
But  the  battle  showed  a  want  of  tactical  skill  on  both 
sides. 

As  the  allied  columns  advanced  towards  the 
stream  the  enemy  retired,  first  setting  fire  to  the 
village  of  Burliuk;  unfortunately,  as  they  proceeded, 
the  ground  was  too  much  restricted  to  deploy  with 
advantage,  and  the  efficiency  of  the  troops  was  spoilt 
by  crowding.  The  stream  was  in  inost  places  shal- 
low, with  occasional  deep  pools  in  which  the  soldiers 
stood  up  to  their  necks  in  water.  As  the  troops 
climbed  up  the  slope  on  the  other  side  they  suffered 
much  loss  from  the  fire  of  the  Russian  batteries, 
especially  one  of  heavy  guns,  which  plunged  into 
Codrington's  division.  But  strangely  enough,  just 
as  Codrington's  men  were  touching  the  earthwork 


THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  ALMA.  269 

in  front  of  this  battery,  the  guns  were  Avithdra^m, 
excepting  two  which  were  captured.  Notwithstand- 
ing this,  the  first  onset  failed,  for  Codrington's 
troops,  being  without  support,  surrounded  by  fresh 
masses  of  the  enemy  and  threatened  by  a  hirge  body 
of  cavalry,  gave  way  and  descended  the  hill.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  Grenadier  Guards  and  the  Cold- 
streams  continued  to  advance  in  lines  absolutely  un- 
broken, except  when  they  were  struck  by  the  enemy's 
shot,  their  advance  producing  a  great  effect  on  the 
minds  of  the  French.  The  Highlanders  also  climbed 
the  hill  to  the  left  of  the  Guards  and  the  whole  of 
the  English  army  began  to  close  upon  the  enemy. 
This  advance  of  the  Guards  and  the  Highlanders 
finallv  decided  the  battle,  and  the  Russian  forces 
soon  began  to  retreat  all  over  the  ground.  In  the 
meantime  Canrobert's  division  of  the  French  had 
occupied  the  Telegraph  Hill,  and  the  allied  forces 
which  had  been  separated  in  the  engagement  were 
now  connected  again.  Lord  Raglan  would  have 
liked  to  have  pursued  the  enemy  in  their  retreat, 
but  St.  Arnaud  objected  that  the  men  could  not  march 
without  their  knapsacks,  which  they  had  left  behind 
them.  In  the  battle  the  English  lost  two  thousand 
and  two  killed  and  wounded ;  the  French,  probably 
a  much  smaller  number.  The  Russian  losses 
•amounted  to  nearly  six  thousand. 

The  next  two  days  were  passed  on  the  Alma,  and 
the  advance  was  resumed  on  September  23,  and  on 
the  following  day  the  army  crossed  the  Belbek. 
They  had  now  reached  the  point  from  which  the 
town  and  fortifications  of  Sebastopol  could  be  seen 
at  no  great  distance,  and  the  question  arose  whether 
the  city  should  be  attacked  at  once  from  the  north 
side.     The   best  authorities   were   strongly   opposed 


270  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

to  such  an  attempt.  The  harbour  of  Sebastopol  is 
over  a  thousand  yards  wide,  and  the  city  and  all  the 
principal  fortifications  Avere  to  the  south,  while  the 
harbour  was  full  of  war-ships,  and  was  protected  by 
seven  line-of-battle  ships  sent  by  Menchikoff  on  his 
arrival  from  the  Alma.  So,  on  the  afternoon  of 
September  24,  a  flank  march  was  determined  upon. 
The  march  began  at  noon  on  the  following  day,  the 
army  passing  Mackenzie's  farm  and  the  Traktir 
bridge,  where  the  road  to  Balaclava  crosses  the 
Tchernaia.  The  next  day  from  a  high  ground  was 
seen  the  harbour  of  Balaclava,  a  deep  pool,  lying 
between  enclosing  cliifs,  crowned  with  walls  and 
towers.  An  English  steamer  soon  made  its  appear- 
ance in  the  port,  showing  that  the  harbour  had  been 
captured,  and  communication  with  the  fleet  estab- 
lished. Onlv  four  shots  had  been  fired  bv  the  garri- 
son,  and  the  commandant  being  asked  why  he  had 
fired  at  all,  said  that  he  thought  he  was  bound  to 
do  so  until  summoned  to  surrender ;  no  one  was 
wounded  on  either  side.  The  French  crossed  the 
Tchernaia  on  the  same  dav.  It  was  soon  seen  that 
Balaclava  was  very  different  to  what  the  map  rep- 
resented it  to  be,  and  was  little  worth  having.  But 
as  the  English  were  in  possession  of  it  the  French 
gave  up  their  position  on  the  right,  which  was  occu- 
pied by  the  English,  together  with  the  harbour,  an 
arrangement  which  proved  a  fruitful  cause  of  dis- 
aster. The  armies  now  took  up  the  positions  which 
they  were  to  occupy  till  the  end  of  the  war.  Above 
them  was  the  broad  plateau  of  the  Tauric  Cherso- 
nesus,  on  which  for  nearly  a  year  their  lives  were  to 
be  passed  and  upon  which  many  were  to  die. 


THE  BALACLAVA  CHARGE.  271 


CHAPTER  XLIV. 

THE  BALACLAVA  CHARGE. 

The  outer  harbour  of  Sebastopol  is  about  four 
miles  long  from  its  entrance  up  to  the  point  where 
the  River  Tchernaia  flows  into  it.  It  is  extremely 
deep  even  close  to  the  shore.  It  was  at  this  time  de- 
fended at  its  entrance  by  two  stone  forts,  named 
Constantine  and  Alexander,  by  the  quarantine  fort 
outside,  and  the  artillery  fort  inside.  There  was 
also  an  inner  harbour,  running  at  about  a  mile  from 
the  entrance  into  the  southern  shore  for  a  mile  and  a 
half,  defended  also  at  its  mouth  by  two  forts, 
Ilficholas  and  Paul.  On  the  western  shore  of  this 
inner  creek  stood  the  city  of  Sebastopol,  and  on  the 
eastern  shore  the  Karabelnaia  suburb  which  con- 
tained the  garrison  barracks.  There  w-as  also  on  this 
side  a  creek  on  which  the  dock-yards  were  built,  and 
about  a  mile  from  the  inner  harbour,  on  the  same 
side,  ran  Careenage  Bay,  terminated  by  Careenage 
Creek.  The  plateau  on  which  the  allied  armies 
were  posted  was  cut  off  from  the  valley  of  the 
Tchernaia  by  a  wall  of  cliff,  which  eventually  formed 
the  boundary  of  the  valley  of  Balaclava.  The 
plateau  is  channelled  by  many  chasms  and  ravines, 
and  is  reached  by  elevations  which  afterwards  be- 
came historically  famous  as  the  Malakoff,  the  Redan, 
and  other  names.  The  extreme  point  of  the 
Chersonesus  in  this  direction  has  the  name  of  Capo 


272     _  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Cherson,  and  just  to  the  north  of  it  lie  the  two  inlets 
of  Kazatch  and  Kamicsch  which  were  used  by  the 
French  for  their  harbour  base  and  were  in  every  re- 
spect superior  to  Balaclava,  which  was  assigned  to 
the  English.  Tliese  two  harbours  were  connected 
with  the  French  positions  by  the  paved  road.  A  great 
ravine  continues  the  depression  of  the  inner  harbour, 
and  this  for  some  time  formed  the  line  of  separation 
between  the  French  and  the  English  armies. 

Another  feature  of  importance  was  the  so-called 
Woronzoff  Road,  which  connected  the  Woronzoff 
estate  at  Yalta  with  Sebastopol,  crossing  the  valley 
of  Balaclava ;  a  branch  of  this  road  crossed  the 
Tchernaia  and  went  along  the  heights  by  Mackenzie's 
farm  to  Bakshisherai.  The  effect  of  this  was  that 
the  Russians  could  approach  Balaclava  out  of  range 
of  our  guns  posted  on  the  plateau. 

The  defence  of  Sebastopol  was  directed  by  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Todleben,  then  thirtv-six  vears  old, 
haviug  35,850  men  under  his  command.  Besides 
building  the  Star  fort  on  the  north  side,  he  quickly 
completed  the  defences  on  the  south  side,  which  had 
been  traced  vears  before.  Thev  consisted  of  the  Redan, 
the  Little  Redan,  batteries  at  Bastion  Xo.  1  on 
Careenage  Bay,  and  the  semi-circular  Malakoff 
Tower,  built  of  stone,  five  feet  thick,  fifty  feet  across 
and  twenty-eight  feet  higli.  On  September  26  the 
place  was  armed  with  one  hundred  and  seventy-two 
pieces  of  ordnance.  On  October  2,  before  the  siege 
began,  all  non-combatants  were  sent  out  of  the  town, 
and  the  works  were  strengthened  everv  dav ;  while 
a  ship  of  eighty-four  guns  was  moored  at  the  head 
of  the  inner  harbour. 

The  siege  operations  of  the  English  were  directed 
by  Sir  John  Burgoyne,  who  had  seen  much  service 


THE  BALACLAVA  CHARGE.  273 

in  the  Peninsular  War,  and  he  was  in  favour  of  em- 
ploying the  siege  trains  before  commencing  the  as- 
sault. The  system  of  fortification  perfected  by 
Vauban  in  the  reign  of  Louis  XIV.  was  still  in  vogue 
at  the  time  of  the  Crimean  War.  It  had  been  modi- 
fied to  meet  the  altered  range  of  artillery  and 
musketry  fire,  and  it  prescribed  that  the  first  parallel 
should  be  traced  at  six  hundred  yards  from  the 
enemy's  works,  but  for  special  reasons  our  first  bat- 
tery was  at  a  much  greater  distance. 

At  6.30  A.M.  on  October  17,  1S54,  the  signal 
being  given  by  three  French  shells,  the  allied  bat- 
teries opened,  the  Kussian  works  replied,  and  the 
most  tremendous  conflict  of  artillery  which  up  to 
that  time  the  world  had  ever  witnessed  began.  It  con- 
tinued unabated  for  four  hours,  with  no  obvious  re- 
sult. About  ten  o'clock  an  explosion  took  place  on 
Mont  Kodolph,  held  by  the  French,  which  blew  up 
the  principal  magazine,  killed  about  fifty  men,  and 
silenced  the  fire  of  the  French  battery.  The  con- 
sequence of  this  was  that  in  half  an  hour  the  French 
batteries  were  reduced  to  silence,  and  the  hope  of  de- 
livering a  general  assault  had  disappeared.  The 
English  fire  was  more  successful.  At  11.30  a.m. 
Admiral  Kozniloff  was  mortally  wounded  in  the 
Malakoff,  and  the  batteries  in  the  surrounding  earth- 
works gradually  ceased  fire.  By  3  p.m.  a  third 
of  the  guns  in  the  Redan  were  silenced,  and  a  maga- 
zine then  was  blown  uj),  which  did  much  damage. 
Todleben,  in  his  history  of  the  siege,  admits  that  in 
that  part  of  the  line  the  defence  was  completely 
paralysed,  and  that  an  assault  was  expected.  The 
English  fire  continued  till  dusk,  and  then  the  can- 
nonade entirely  ceased.  If  the  Frencli  had  been  as 
successful  as  ourselves  the  allies  might  thus  early 
18 


274  WAES  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

have  secured  a  lodffraent  on  the  main  works  of  the 
enemy. 

The  bombardment  was  renewed  by  the  English 
on  the  following  day,  but  the  Russian  position  had 
been  enormously  strengthened,  and  the  principal 
damage  repaired  by  the  energy  of  Todleben.  The 
loss  on  the  English  side  was  slight..  Up  to  October 
25  the  number  of  killed  and  wounded  did  not  average 
more  than  seventeen  a  day,  whereas  the  Russian  loss 
up  to  that  time  amounted  to  3,834  men. 

The  valley  between  Balaclava  and  tlie  Tchernaia 
is  crossed  by  a  line  of  low  hills,  and  along  their 
course  lies  the  Woronzoff  road.  Four  of  these  hills 
had  been  crowned  with  earthworks  of  a  very  slight 
description,  armed  with  nine  12-pounder  guns,  the 
garrison  having  but  very  slight  support.  On  Octo- 
ber 25,  the  Russians,  whose  force  now  amounted  to 
twenty-two  thousand  infantry,  three  thousand  four 
hundred  cavalry  and  seventy-eight  guns,  crossed  the^ 
Tchernaia,  and  began  to  bombard  what  was  called 
Canrobert's  Hill,  named  from  the  general  who  had 
succeeded  to  the  command  of  the  French  army  on  the 
death  of  St.  x^rnaud.  The  fire  was  returned  by  the 
forts,  and  afterwards  by  two  batteries  of  artillery 
supported  by  the  Scots  Greys. 

When  it  was  seen  that  the  attack  was  more 
formidable  than  appeared  at  first,  two  English  di- 
visions and  a  French  brigade  were  sent  to  the  scene 
of  action,  but  instead  of  descending  into  the  vallev, 
they  marched  along  the  heights.  They  saw  the  Rus- 
sians storm  Canrobert's  Hill,  killing  one  hundred 
and  seventy  Turks  who  Avere  occupying  the  forts. 
These  events  gave  rise  to  the  famous  charges  of 
Balaclava,  of  the  Heavy  Brigade,  and  of  the  Light 
Brigade.  These  two  brigades  were  moving  on 
different  sides  of  the  ridge,  the  Light  Brigade  on  the 


THE  BALACLAVA  CHARGE.  275 

side  towards  the  Tchernaia,  numbering  six  hundred 
and  seventy  men,  and  the  Heavy  Brigade  on  the  side 
towards  Balaehiva,  numbering  nine  hundred.  Sud- 
denly a  large  body  of  Russian  cavalry  attacked  the 
Heavy  Brigade,  leaving  the  Liglit  Brigade  un- 
noticed, but,  checked  by  the  fire  of  a  Turkish  fort, 
wavered,  some  halting  and  galloping  back.  The 
English  regiments  charged  in  succession.  The  Rus- 
sians were  far  superior  in  number,  and  the  event  of 
the  combat  appeared  doubtful  until  the  4th  Dragoon 
Guards  charged  the  Russian  flank,  and  the  whole 
of  the  English  troops  came  uj).  Then  suddenly  the 
complete  Russian  mass  gave  way  and  fled  behind 
the  hill,  disappearing  beyond  the  slope  some  four  or 
five  minutes  after  they  were  first  seen  upon  it. 

The  Heavy  Brigade  of  cavalry  was  under  the 
command  of  General  Scarlett,  the  Light  Brigade 
under  Lord  Cardigan,  while  the  whole  cavalry  di- 
vision was  commanded  by  Lord  Lucan,  to  whom 
Lord  Raglan  now  sent  the  following  order: 
"  Cavalry  to  advance  and  take  advantage  of  any 
opportunity  to  recover  the  heights.  They  will  be 
supported  by  the  infantry,  which  have  been  ordered 
to  advance  on  two  fronts."  On  receiving  this  order 
Lord  Lucan  moved  the  Heavy  Brigade  to  the  other 
side  of  the  ridge,  to  await  the  promised  sup- 
port of  the  infantry.  As  it  was  seen  that  the  Rus- 
sians were  attempting  to  carry  off  the  guns  they  had 
captured,  a  second  order  was  sent  to  Lord  Lucan  in 
the  following  words :  "  Lord  Raglan  wishes  the 
cavalry  to  advance  rapidly  to  the  front,  and  try  to 
prevent  the  enemy  carrying  ^away  the  guns.  Troops 
of  artillery  may  accompany.  French  cavalry  is  on 
your  left.  Immediate."  The  order  was  carried  by 
Captain  ISTolan,  who  found  Lord  Lucan  between  his 
two  brigades,  divided  by  the  Woronzoff  road. 


276  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Lord  Raglan  had  intended  the  charge  to  be  made 
against  the  defeated  Russian  cavalry  who  had  re- 
treated down  the  valley  towards  the  Tchernaia;  but 
Lord  Lucan,  strengthened  in  his  opinion  by  some 
blunderofjSTolan's,  understood  it  to  be  directed  against 
a  large  body  of  Russians  posted  right  in  front,  sup- 
ported on  either  side  by  large  numbers  of  artillery. 
Although  both  Lord  Cardigan  and  Lord  Lucan  knew 
the  charge  to  be  desperate  they  did  not  hesitate,  and 
the  order  was  given  for  the  brigade  to  advance. 
They  moved  at  a  steady  trot,  and  in  a  minute  came 
within  the  range  of  fire.  After  five  minutes  they 
came  under  the  fire  of  twelve  guns  in  front,  and  the 
pace  was  increased,  but  when  they  reached  the  bat- 
tery more  than  half  the  brigade  were  dead  or  wound- 
ed, the  rest  were  now  lost  to  view  in  the  smoke  of  the 
guns.  The  Heavy  Brigade  moved  in  support,  but 
soon  had  to  retire  with  heavy  loss ;  a  brilliant  diver- 
sion was  effected  by  a  regiment  of  Chasseurs 
d'Afrique,  sent  by  the  French  General  Morris,  whose 
well-directed  charge  saved  many  English  lives.  Be- 
hind the  smoke  of  the  guns,  the  light  cavalry  drove 
the  gunners  off,  and  charged  parties  of  Russian 
cavalry  who  retreated,  but  they  soon  had  to  retreat 
themselves.  They  rode  back,  as  Hamley  says,  singly 
or  in  twos  and  threes,  some  wounded,  some  support- 
ing; wounded  comrades.  But  when  the  Russian 
lancers  drew  up  across  tlie  valley  to  cut  off  the  re- 
treat of  the  English,  the  8tli  Hussars  and  some  of 
the  iTtli  Lancers  scattered  them  right  and  left.  The 
brigade  had  lost  two  hundred  and  forty-seven  men 
killed  and  wounded,  while  four  hundred  and  seventy- 
five  horses  were  killed  and  forty-two  wounded.  The 
Russians  were  left  in  undisturbed  possession  of  the 
three  hills  they  had  captured  with  their  seven  guns. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  INKERMAN.  277 


CHAPTER  XLV. 

THE    BATTLE    OF    INKEKMAIST. 

The  plateau  above  Sebastopol  was  accessible  to  the 
Russians  at  many  points,  but  especially  by  the 
Careenage  Ravine,  which  was  a  continuation  of  the 
Careenage  Harbour.  At  noon  on  October  26  a  Russian 
force  of  six  battalions  and  four  light  field-guns  came 
out  of  the  town,  and  ascended  the  ravine  and  the 
slope  which  led  to  the  camp  of  the  Second  Division. 
In  a  short  time  both  the  artillery  and  the  infantry 
were  swept  back  into  the  walls  of  Sebastopol.  It  is 
probable  that  their  intention  was  to  establish  a  re- 
doubt on  Shell  Hill,  in  order  to  cover  a  more  serious 
attack  to  be  made  at  a  future  time.  In  order  to  pre- 
vent a  similar  movement  on  the  part  of  the  Russians, 
the  English  built  a  battery  on  an  advanced  ridge, 
armed  with  two  eighteen-poanders,  and  called  the 
"  Sand-bag  Battery."  When  it  had  done  its  work 
of  alarming  the  Russians,  the  guns  were  removed, 
but  the  point  afterwards  became  important  in  the 
liistory  of  the  battle. 

On  November  4  it  was  known  on  both  sides  that  a 
crisis  was  impending.  The  allied  infantry  before 
Sebastopol  consisted  of  thirty-one  thousand  French, 
sixteen  thousand  English,  and  eleven  thousand 
Turks.  The  French  siege  corps  was  retrieving  its 
disaster  of  the  previous  months.  The  English  were 
strengthening  their  batteries  and  replenishing  their 


278  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

maffazines,  and  the  dailv  Russian  loss  far  exceeded 
theirs.  A  meeting  of  the  allied  commanders  had  been 
arranged  for  i^ovember  5  to  concert  measures  for  de- 
livering the  final  assault.  The  total  of  Menchikoff's 
forces  in  and  around  Sebastopol  were  not  less  than 
one  hundred  thousand  men,  without  counting  the 
seamen,  so  that  about  one  hundred  and  fifteen  thou- 
sand men  were  opposed  to  sixty- five  thousand. 

In  the  early  dawn  of  Sunday,  November  5,  the 
bells  of  the  Sebastopol  churches  were  celebrating 
the  arrival  in  the  town  of  the  young  Grand  Dukes 
Michael  and  Nicholas.  Menchikoff's  plan  was  to 
make  a  combined  attack  upon  the  English  position 
on  the  plateau,  by  Soimonoif  moving  up  the  Careen- 
age Ravine  with  a  force  of  nineteen  thousand  infantry 
and  thirty-eight  guns,  and  PaulofI  advancing  across 
the  causeway  and  bridge  of  the  Tchernaia  with  six- 
teen thousand  infantry  and  ninety-six  guns.  Gor- 
tschakoff  in  the  valley  was  to  support  the  general 
attack  by  a  diversion,  and  an  attempt  to  seize  one 
of  the  heights,  and  the  garrison  of  Sebastopol  was 
to  cover  the  right  flank  of  the  attacking  force  with 
its  artillery  fire.  As  soon  as  the  two  bodies  had  ef- 
fected their  juncture  they  were  to  be  under  the  com- 
mand of  General  Dannenberg. 

The  ground  chiefly  threatened  was  occupied  by 
about  three  thousand  men  of  the  Second  Division, 
and  three-quarters  of  a  mile  behind  was  the  brigade 
of  Guards  numbering  thirteen  hundred  and 
thirty  men.  Two  miles  in  the  rear  of  the  Second 
Division  were  the  nearest  troops  of  Bosquet's  army 
corps.  Soimonoff  left  Sebastopol  in  the  middle  of 
the  night,  and  passing  up  the  Careenage  Ravine,  be- 
gan to  form  the  order  of  battle  on  the  heights  at  about 
6  A.M.  He  did  not  wait  for  Pauloff,  but  at  once  began 


THE  BATTLE  OF  INKERMAN.  279 

the  attack.  He  posted  twenty-two  heavy  guns  on 
Shell  Hill  and  opened  fire,  and  attacked  with  his 
columns  at  about  7  a.m.  The  pickets  of  the  Second 
Division  were  at  once  driven  back,  but  the  main  body 
was  pushed  forwards  to  support  the  pickets,  the  crest 
only  being  held  by  twelve  nine-pounder  guns.  The 
morning  was  foggy  and  the  ground  muddy;  the  mist 
was  very  partial,  but  sufficient  to  conceal  from  the 
Russians  the  fact  that  the  troops  attacked  had  no 
immediate  support. 

The  first  attack  took  place  on  the  English  left. 
Luckily  the  strength  of  the  Russian  forces  was  not 
known,  and  the  troops  fought  in  ignorance  of  the 
enormous  odds  against  them.  By  extraordinary  acts 
of  individual  prowess  and  daring  seven  of  Soimon- 
off's  fourteen  battalions  were  repulsed  and  Soimonoff 
himself  was  killed.  Of  the  seven  which  remained, 
one  joined  the  forces  of  Pauloff,  and  six  advancing 
against  the  English  centre  were  also  defeated.  Paul- 
off advanced  by  what  was  called  the  Quarry  Ravine, 
leading  up  from  the  Tchernaia.  When  a  regiment 
on  the  right  reached  a  wall  of  stones  placed  across 
the  head  of  the  road,  called  the  Barrier,  a  wing  of 
the  30th  regiment,  two  hundred  strong,  leapt  over  it 
and  charged  the  two  leading  battalions  with  the  bayo- 
net. The  charge  proved  decisive  and  the  whole  body 
were  swept  off  the  field.  Against  the  remaining  five 
battalions  which  numbered  four  thousand,  the  41st 
regiment,  in  number  five  Inindred  and  twenty-five, 
descended  in  extended  order^  drove  the  Russians 
down  the  hill  until  they  reached  the  banks  of  the 
Tchernaia.  "  Thus,"  says  Hamley,  "  in  open  ground, 
affording  to  the  defenders  none  of  the  defensive  ad- 
vantages, walls,  hedges  or  enclosures  of  any  kind 
which  most  battle-fields  have  been  found  to  offer, 


280  WAES  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

these  fifteen  thousand  Tinssians  had  been  repulsed 
by  less  than  a  fourth  of  their  number." 

A  new  action  commenced  with  the  arrival  of 
General  Dannenberg.  He  had  under  his  command 
about  nineteen  thousand  infantry  and  ninety  guns. 
He  directed  his  main  attack  against  the  centre  and 
right  of  the  English  position  in  order  the  better  to 
co-operate  with  Gortschakoff.  By  this  time  the  Eng- 
lish had  received  reinforcements,  the  Guard  had 
turned  out  at  the  sound  of  battle,  and  others  were 
coming  up.  The  battle  raged  furiously  about  the 
Sand-bag  Battery,  the  Russian  troops  now  fighting 
better  than  they  had  done  earlier  in  the  day.  The 
Russians  repulsed  returned  again  and  again  to  the 
encounter,  until  the  two  lines  were  separated  by  a 
rampart  of  fallen  men.  At  last  Cathcart  arrived 
witli  about  four  hundred  men  of  the  Fourth  Division, 
and  descended  the  slope  beyond  the  English  right; 
but  he  was  suddenly  assailed  by  a  body  of  Russians 
coming  down  the  heights  from  which  he  had  himself 
descended ;  his  troops  suffered  heavily  and  he  was 
shot  dead.  The  unfortunate  example  of  Cathcart 
was  followed  by  others,  and  our  right  was  in  con- 
siderable danger  when  a  French  regiment^  which  hap- 
pened to  be  posted  there,  took  the  Russians  in  flank 
and  drove  them  back  into  the  place  from  which  they 
had  come. 

The  Russians  now  made  a  third  attack  with  a  body 
of  six  thousand  men,  the  allies  having  increased  their 
numbers  to  five  thousand,  the  Russian  artillery,  how- 
ever, still  having  the  predominance.  Issuing  from 
the  Quarry  Ravine  the  columns  attacked  the  English 
centre  and  left,  and  met  with  greater  success  than 
any  other  which  they  attempted.  They  penetrated 
as  far  as  the  Careenage  Ravine,  drove  back  the  troops 


THE  BATTLE  OF  INKERMAN.  281 

there,  and  captured  and  spiked  some  English  guns. 
This  attack  was  finally  repulsed  by  the  combined 
efforts  of  the  French  and  English.  It  was  by  this 
time  eleven  o'clock,  and  the  fortunes  of  the  day  were 
turning  decidedly  in  favour  of  the  allies,  as  none  of 
their  artillery  had  come  up  and  the  French  were 
taking  an  important  share  in  the  battle;  Bosquet 
having  been  before  held  back  from  fear  of  being  at- 
tacked by  Gortschakoff. 

This  ended  the  battle  of  Inkerman  with  no  appar- 
ent decisive  results  on  either  side;  the  English  had 
not  the  numbers  nor  the  French  the  desire  to  turn 
the  defeat  into  a  rout.  The  gloom  of  the  November 
evening  descended  upon  the  gloomy  hosts.  The 
Russian  losses  in  the  battle  were  twelve  tliousand,  of 
whom  the  greater  number  were  killed.  The  English 
lost  597  killed  and  1,700  woimded  ;  the  French,  143 
killed  and  786  w^ounded.  The  battle,  how- 
ever, had  a  great  moral  effect,  and  the  Russians  lost 
all  hope  of  driving  the  allies  from  the  plateau  which 
they  had  occupied. 


2S2  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEK  XLVI. 

THE  WINTER THE  FALL  OF  SEBASTOPOL. 

Three  davs  after  the  battle  of  Inkerman  it  was 
determined  that  the  allied  armies  should  winter  in 
the  Crimea.  Up  to  this  time  the  troops  had  under- 
gone no  great  privation.  "  The  weather,"  Hamley, 
who  was  present,  tells  us,  "  had  been  mild  and  sunny 
with  cool  nights ;  the  tents  stood  on  dry  and  level 
spaces  of  turf.  The  surface  of  the  plains  had  been 
good  for  transit,  and  rations  for  men  and  horses  had 
been  supplied  with  sufficient  regularity."  But  on 
November  14  arose  a  fearful  storm,  which  dispersed 
whole  camps  and  scattered  them  over  the  plain,  so 
that  there  was  no  shelter  for  men  returning  from 
the  trenches.  The  sick  and  wounded  were  left  bare 
of  protection,  quantities  of  food  and  forage  were 
spoiled,  and  the  communication  with  Balaclava  was 
stopped  by  the  wind.  Twenty-one  vessels  in  or  near 
the  harbour  of  Balaclava  were  dashed  to  pieces,  and 
eight  others  disabled,  among  them  the  Prince,  a 
magnificent  steamer  which  contained  stores  of  every 
kind  which  the  Government  could  design  for  the 
comfort  of  the  troops.  Twenty  days'  liay  for  the 
horses  was  destroyed  by  the  tempest.  The  French 
lost  the  Henri  IV.,  the  most  beautiful  vessel  in  their 
navy,  and  the  garrison  of  Sebastopol  was  also  griev- 
ously afflicted. 

After  the  storm  came  the  snow;  the  sick  or 
wounded  reposed  in  mud;  the  trenches  w^e  often 


THE  WINTER— THE  FALL  OF  SEBASTOPOL.  283 

deep  in  water;  the  soldiers  feared  to  draw  off  their 
boots  lest  they  should  not  be  able  to  put  them  on 
again.  The  difficulty  of  cooking  made  the  men  eat 
their  food  raw,  and  this  largely  increased  the  number 
of  the  sick.  There  was  generally  a  sufficient  supply 
of  salt  meat,  biscuits,  and  rum,  but  the  fare  was 
monotonous,  and  means  for  preparing  it  were  want- 
ing. The  most  painful  reflection  was  that  there  was 
stored  at  Balaclava  plenty  of  fuel,  rice,  flour,  vege- 
tables, and  tea,  supplies  which  might  have  made  the 
condition  of  the  army  happy,  but  which  were  not 
available  from  the  absence  of  an  army  corps.  The 
sufferings  of  the  animals  were  frightful,  they  died 
all  round  the  camp  and  on  the  road  to  Balaclava,  and, 
when  dead,  lay  unburied.  The  labour  of  toiling 
through  the  muddy  roads  to  Balaclava  to  fetch  their 
ovm  forage  killed  many  horses  on  each  journey. 

The  result  of  all  this  was  that  at  the  end  of  ISTovem- 
ber  the  English  had  nearly  eight  thousand  men  in 
hospital.  The  journey  to  the  great  hospital  at  Scutari 
was  the  death  of  many.  The  hospital  itself  was 
"  crammed  with  misery,  overflowing  with  despair." 
Thousands  of  brave  men  lay  in  the  wards  and  cor- 
ridors, crowded  in  a  manner  to  increase  their  misery. 
Great  efforts  were  made  both  at  home  and  on  the  spot 
to  remedy  these  disasters,  and  on  January  13  Lord 
"Raglan  was  able  to  write,  ''  I  believe  I  mav  assert 
that  every  man  in  this  army  has  received  a  second 
blanket,  a  jersey  frock,  flannel  drawers  and  socks, 
and  some  kind  of  winter  coat  in  addition  to  his  ordi- 
nary great  coat ;  "  but  still  the  number  of  sick 
mounted  up  till  it  reached  fourteen  thousand. 

During  this  time  the  French  had  been  better  off 
because  their  harbours  were  more  convenient,  they 
had  made  a  paved  road  from  the  shore  to  their  camp, 


284  WARS  OF  THE  CENTUEY. 

their  transport  was  well  organised,  while  the  English 
was  not,  and  thej  were  at  a  shorter  distance  from 
their  naval  ports.  On  the  other  hand,  their  tents 
were  a  very  imperfect  protection  against  the  weather, 
and  their  rations  were  hardly  sufficient  to  keep  them 
in  good  health  during  severe  labour.  For  these  rea- 
sons tli3y  lost  many  men  from  sickness,  especially 
from  frostbite.     The  streno-th  of  their  armv  went  on 

O  t.' 

increasing  from  forty-five  thousand  in  October  to 
fifty-six  thousand  in  Xovember,  sixtv-five  thousand  in 
December  and  seventy-eight  thousand  in  January. 
In  this  month  England  had  only  eleven  thousand 
men  fit  to  bear  arms  on  the  plateau,  and  Lord  Rag- 
lan estimated  the  strength  of  the  French  army  to 
be  four  times  that  of  his  ovrn.  General  Canrobert 
in  consequence  relieved  the  English  troops  from  the 
duty  of  guarding  part  of  their  ground,  and  thus  set 
free  fifteen  hundred  men. 

The  narrative  of  these  s^ifferinffs  would  not  be 
complete  without  some  account  of  the  efTorts  made  in 
England  to  relieve  them.  One  of  these  was  the 
Crimean  Armv  Fund,  bv  whose  energy  not  only 
necessaries  but  luxuries  were  poured  into  the  camps, 
and  another  was  the  provision  of  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert, 
the  Secretary  of  War,  to  obtain  a  staff  of  ladies  and 
paid  nurses  who  should  introduce  a  better  system  into 
the  hospitals  at  Constantinople.  Miss  Florence  jSTight- 
ingale,  whose  name  must  ever  be  held  in  reverence  by 
English-speaking  people,  arrived  at  her  sphere  of 
labour  on  Xovember  4,  1854,  accompanied  by 
eighteen  Protestant  sisters  and  nurses  and  twenty 
trained  nurses.  She  especially  devoted  her  atten- 
tion to  organising  relief  and  the  management  of  the 
hospital,  and  she  was  shortly  after  assisted  by  the 
Times  Crimean  Fund,  which  was  established  by  that 


THE  WINTER— THE  FALL  OF  SEBASTOPOL.  285 

journal,  to  its  great  credit,  for  the  benefit  of  the 
sick  and  wounded.  Improvements,  however,  were 
slow  to  take  effect,  and  in  the  four  winter  months 
nearly  nine  thousand  soldiers  died  in  the  hospitals, 
while  at  the  end  of  February  lo  six  hundred  men 
were  lying  sick  there. 

Meanwhile  the  business  of  the  siege  was  proceeding 
slowly;  the  transports,  which  ought  to  have  been 
used  for  bringing  up  guns  and  munitions  of  war,  were 
employed  in  conveying  food,  clothing  and  shelter. 
In  the  trenches  the  men  stood  ankle-  or  knee-deep 
in  mud  and  snow ;  there  was  great  deficiency  of  fuel, 
the  brushwood  and  the  roots  of  vines  having  been 
exhausted.  The  consequence  was  that  the  men  used 
the  gabions  and  fascines  of  the  parapets  to  boil  their 
coffee  with,  which  they  ground  with  7)ortions  of  the 
enemy's  shells,  and  roasted  in  their  nicr^s  tins. 

The  slow  progress  of  the  siege  encouraged  the  Em- 
peror of  Russia  to  a  more  obstinate  resistance.  He 
rejected  the  four  points  which  were  offered  to  him 
as  conditions  of  peace,  although  they  were  supported 
by  Austria  and  Prussia.  In  consequence  of  this 
Austria  joined  the  allies  at  the  beginning  of  Decem- 
ber, although  she  did  not  send  any  troops.  A  few 
weeks  later  the  kingdom  of  Sardinia  made  an  alli- 
ance with  France  and  England  and  sent  General 
La  Marmora  to  the  Crimea  with  an  army  of  fifteen 
thousand  men.  Prussia  remained  steadfast  in  her 
neutrality.  In  England  Lord  Aberdeen,  who  had 
been  known  as  the  friend  of  the  Emperor  jSTicholas 
and  peace,  left  the  Ministry,  giving  place  to  Lord 
Palmerston,  whose  energy  and  capacity  were  well 
kno\\Ti.  France  nerved  herself  to  new  exertions 
under  the  direction  of  Prince  Napoleon,  and  Russia 
strained  every  nerve  to  meet  the  activity  of  her  ene- 


286  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

mies.  There  was  a  general  levy  of  troops  throTigh- 
oiit  the  Kussiaii  Empire,  but  the  allies  had  rightly 
calculated  the  results  of  an  attack  upon  so  distant  a 
territory  as  the  Crimea,  which  was  at  the  same  time 
extremely  difficult  to  defend  and  impossible  to  sur- 
render. In  order  to  reach  the  scene  of  action  the  new 
levies  had  to  march  over  the  long  stretches  of  southern 
Kussia  covered  with  snow,  and  countless  numbers 
found  their  grave  upon,  the  march.  On  February 
10,  1855,  the  Russians  made  an  attack  upon  Eupato- 
ria,  which  was  repulsed  by  the  bravery  of  the  Turk- 
ish garrison  under  Omar  Pasha,  assisted  by  excellent 
earthworks  by  which  the  place  was  strengthened. 
The  Emperor  Xicholas  had  long  been  suffering  from 
the  demands  made  upon  him  by  the  difficulty  of  de- 
feTiding  the  Crimea  and  of  meeting  the  new  enemies 
wlio  were  arising  against  him.  It  is  thought  that 
the  defeat  of  Eupatoria  gave  the  final  blow,  felt 
more  keenly  by  that  proud  spirit  as  it  was  a  vic- 
tory of  the  Turks  over  Russians.  His  strength  sud- 
denly collapsed  as  he  was  reviewing  his  troops.  He 
returned  from  the  parade  ground  on  February  27, 
extremely  ill,  and  died  on  March  2,  leaving  his 
crown  to  his  son  Alexander  IL,  a  less  stubborn  and 
more  peaceful  character. 

Russia  had  by  this  time  lost  twenty-five  thousand 
men  in  this  terrible  war,  and  was  sincerely  desirous 
of  peace,  but  the  honour  of  the  nation,  and  the  respect 
due  to  the  departed  Emperor  and  to  public  opinion 
in  Russia,  demanded  that  the  war  should  continue 
for  the  present.  The  new  Emperor  in  an  address  to 
the  diplomatic  body  declared  that  he,  like  his  father, 
Avas  sincerely  desirous  of  peace,  but  if  no  honour- 
able conclusion  was  forthcoming  he  would  march 
forth  into  the  struggle  with  his  beloved  Russia,  and 


THE  WINTER— THE  FALL  OF  SEBASTOPOL.  287 

prefer  to  j^erish  than  to  yield.  In  a  similar  manner 
the  honour  of  France,  especially  of  the  Napoleonic 
Empire,  required  a  creditable  and  digiiified  termina- 
tion of  this  murderous  conflict,  and  it  was  felt  that 
peace  would  be  impossible  until  after  the  fall  of 
Sebastopol. 

In  January,  1855,  the  Emperor  Napoleon  III. 
despatched  General  Niel  to  the  Crimea,  an  experi- 
enced and  w^ell-instructcd  engineer,  with  orders  to 
investigate  the  condition  of  things,  and  to  report 
to  his  master.  Kiel  soon  came  to  a  conclusion  as  to 
the  right  spot  upon  which  to  direct  the  principal  at- 
tack, and  recommended  the  besiegers  to  advance 
their  parallels  and  batteries  in  the  direction  of  the 
Karabelnaia,  the  southern  suburb  of  the  city.  In 
the  meantime  Todleben  gave  additional  strength  to 
the  fortifications  on  his  side.  In  the  front  of  the 
Malakhof,  about  five  hundred  yards  from  it,  was  a 
conical  hill  known  as  the  Mamelon.  The  English 
w^ould  have  undoubtedly  occupied  it  if  their  num- 
bers had  been  sufficient,  and  the  allies  now  prepared 
two  batteries,  with  the  object  of  placing  it  under  a 
new  fire.  But  on  February  22  the  French  saw  that 
new  works  had  been  erected  on  a  part  of  Mount  Inker- 
man,  which  flanked  the  approaches  to  the  Malakhof 
and  the  Mamelon,  and  was  itself  powerfully  pro- 
tected. A  vigorous  attack  was  made  on  this  new 
work  by  the  French,  but  it  was  repulsed  with  consid- 
erable loss.  Todleben,  therefore,  was  left  to  arm 
and  complete  this  work,  and  another  not  far  from 
it,  the  two  being  known  as  the  "  white  works,"  from 
the  chalky  soil  on  which  they  were  constructed. 

On  the  night  of  March  22  a  great  sortie  was  made 
against  the  French,  between  five  and  six  tliousand 
men  attacking  the  French  trenches  before  the  Mame- 


288  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Ion  and  for  a  time  entering  them,  driving  in  theguards 
and  Avorking  parties.  A  simultaneous  attack  was 
made  upon  the  British  right,  which  was,  however, 
easily  repulsed,  and  another  of  less  importance  upon 
the  left.  The  object  of  these  attacks  was,  probably, 
to  obtain  an  opportunity  for  executing  further  works, 
and  on  the  following  night  they  connected  their  riile- 
pits  in  front  of  the  ]\Iamelon  by  a  trench,  thus  form- 
ing or  occupying  an  entrenched  line  within  eighty 
vards  of  the  French,  covering'  and  at  the  same  time 
supported  by  the  ]\ramelon. 

On  February  2-i  a  truce  was  agreed  upon  for  bury- 
ing the  slain,  of  which  Ilauiley,  who  was  an  eye- 
witness, gives  an  interesting  account.  W^hitc  flags 
were  floating  from  the  Mamelon  and  the  works  of 
the  allies,  while  the  hillside  was  crowded  with  spec- 
tators. Hundreds  of  Russians  came  from  behind 
the  Mamelon,  and  the  soldiers  of  both  parties  mingled 
on  friendly  terms.  The  Tlii'^sians  looked  dirty  and 
shabby,  but  healthy  and  well-fed.  The  parapet  of 
the  ^lamelon  was  crowded  with  curious  groups,  the 
Malakhof  rose  at  the  distance  of  eight  hundred  yards, 
and  between  it  and  the  liedan  could  be  seen  the  citv, 
with  people  walking  in  the  streets,  the  gardens  and  the 
line  of  sunken  ships.  In  two  hours  the  truce  was 
over,  the  flags  were  lowered  and  the  fire  recommenced. 

By  this  time  the  condition  of  the  allied  armies 
had  greatly  imf)roved.  With  the  advance  of  spring 
the  plains  were  covered  with  grass;  the  men  were 
well-fed,  well-clothed  and  well-housed;  the  horses 
were  recovering  their  condition  and  were  brought  up 
to  their  proper  strength;  the  plateau  was  covered 
with  huts ;  supplies  were  forwarded  by  railway,  and 
an  eflicient  land  transport  had  been  erected.  Vast 
stores  of  ordnance  and  ammunition  had  been  col- 


THE  WINTER— THE  FALL  OF  SEBASTOPOL.  289 

lected,  and  both  sides  were  expecting  a  bombardment 
and  an  assault.  The  cannonade  began  on  Easter 
Monday,  April  9 ;  the  Russians  were  so  much  unpre- 
pared that  they  did  not  reply  for  twenty  minutes, 
while  the  wind  carried  the  smoke  of  the  allied  bat- 
teries over  the  enemy  and  impeded  their  fire.  At  sun- 
set the  guns  were  silent,  but  all  through  the  night 
the  mortars  continued  to  play,  and  their  huge  shells 
were  seen  cleaving  the  sky. 

This  terrific  fire  continued  for  ten  davs,  the  Rus- 
sian  troops  suffering  severely  as  they  were  massed 
in  the  trenches  expecting  an  immediate  assault. 
During  this  time  they  lost  more  than  six  thousand 
men  in  killed  and  wounded,  whereas  the  French  lost 
only  1,585  men  and  the  English  265.  The  suffering 
in  Sebastopol  was  terrible,  and  heartrending  scenes 
have  been  described  by  eyewitnesses.  !N'or  was  the 
state  of  things  outside  of  the  walls  any  better,  as 
the  route  from  Simpheropol  to  Sebastopol  was  so 
encumbered  with  dead  bodies,  dead  horses  and  dead 
cattle,  that  no  vehicle  could  pass,  while  the  air  was 
infected  with  pestilential  vapours. 

At  this  time  a  portion  of  the  allied  fleet  sailed  to 
the  Sea  of  Azoff  with  the  purpose  of  destroying  the 
provisions  and  supplies  which  were  collected  in  the 
towns  of  Kertsch,  Yenikale,  Mariopol,  Taganrog,  and 
Anapa,  an  enterprise  successfully  carried  out,  but 
it  is  said  with  unnecessary  cruelty  and  barbarity. 
Plans  were  also  formed  for  the  investment  of  Sebasto- 
pol and  cutting  off  its  communications  with  the  rest 
of  Russia,  and  also  for  the  journey  of  the  Emperor 
N^apoleon  to  the  Crimea  to  take  command  of  his  army 
"'tn  person.  This  last  idea  was  prevented  by  the  strong 
opposition  of  the  English,  and  as  these  schemes  were 
never  carried  to  a  conclusion  thev  need  not  receive 
19 


290  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

further  attention  in  oiir  narrative.  It  was,  however, 
thought  that  Marshal  Canrobert,  who  had  hitherto 
conducted  the  operations  of  the  allies  in  conjunc- 
tion with  Lord  Raglan,  Avas  not  of  that  hard,  un- 
compromising nature  which  could  secure  success  in 
the  face  of  the  difficulties  which  we  have  described, 
nor  was  he  on  the  best  of  terras  with  his  English  col- 
leagues. Therefore  the  resignation  of  his  command 
was  accepted,  and  General  Pelissier,  who  had 
acquired  a  great  but  a  not  altogether  enviable  reputa- 
tion in  Africa,  was  sent  out  to  take  his  place,  Can- 
robert, with  admirable  self-denial,  placing  himself 
under  the  orders  of  his  new  chief. 

After  changes  had  been  made  consequent  upon  the 
new  command,  a  fresh  bombardment  began  on  June 
6,  IS 55,  the  English  guns  being  mainly  directed  on 
the  Redan  and  the  Malakhof,  the  French  upon  the 
Mamelon ;  another  important  object  of  attack  being 
the  so-called  Quarries  in  front  of  the  Redan.  The 
fire  of  the  siege  batteries  was  such  as  had  never  been 
seen  before.  On  the  side  of  the  allies  544  great  guns 
boreon  the  Russian  works,  and  were  opposed  by  nearly 
an  equal  number.  On  the  second  day  the  Mame- 
lon was  reduced  to  absolute  silence,  and  in  two  hours 
the  Malakhof  was  no  longer  in  a  condition  to  support 
it,  whilst  by  6  p.m.  the  White  works  were  ruined 
and  the  parapets  destroyed.  The  time  for  the  as- 
sault had  been  fixed  at  6.30  p.m.^  and  at  the  ap- 
pointed hour  Rosquet  captured  the  White  works; 
soon  afterwards  the  Mamelon  was  taken  by  storm 
and  the  tricolour  flag  waved  over  it,  its  defenders 
retiring  to  the  Malakhof;  but  after  a  time  the  Rus- 
sians roturned  and  drove  the  French  out,  who,  how- 
ever, strengthened  by  reinforcements,  recaptured  and 
held  it.    At  the  same  time  the  English  assaulted  the 


THE  WINTER-THE  FALL  OF  SEBASTOPOL.     291 

Quarries,  and  drove  out  the  defenders;  but  could  not 
hold  them,  as  they  were  open  to  the  fire  of  the  Rus- 
sian batteries.  It  was  found  in  the  morning  that 
Pelissier  had  succeeded  in  driving  the  enemy  from  all 
their  outworks,  and  restricting  them  to  their  main 
line  of  defence,  and  that  the  siege  works  had  been 
advanced  by  the  ground  which  had  thus  been  gained. 
These  advantages  had  been  won  with  the  loss  of  5,440 
French,  693  English  and  5,000  Russians. 

A  new  assault  was  prepared  for  June  18,  the  anni- 
versary of  the  battle  of  Waterloo,  but  it  ended  in 
disastrous  failure,  and  all  the  attaekii;g  troops  were 
recalled  to  the  trenches,  after  suffering  heavy  loss. 
However,  on  this  day  Todleben,  who  was  the  soul 
of  the  Russian  defence,  was  slightly  wounded,  and 
two  days  later  was  disabled  by  a  shot  through  the 
leg  and  had  to  be  removed  from  Sebastopol.  The 
failure  of  this  attack,  from  M'hich  so  much  had  been 
expected,  also  cost  the  life  of  Lord  Raglan.  Five 
da^'s  after  the  event  an  officer  of  the  Staff  wrote: 
"  I  fear  it  has  affected  Lord  Raglan's  health ;  he  looks 
far  from  well,  and  has  aged  very  much  latterly." 
On  June  26  he  was  seized  with  cholera  and  died 
without  much  suffering  two  days  afterwards.  The 
next  morning  General  Pelissier,  who  greatly  re- 
spected his  colleague,  stood  by  the  side  of  the  bed  on 
which  the  corpse  was  laid  for  upwards  of  an  hour, 
crying  like  a  child. 

The  defenders  of  Sebastopol,  under  Prince  Gor- 
tschakoff,  now  determined  to  attack  the  allies  in  the 
field,  and  on  August  16  they  advanced  against  the 
upper  Tchernaia,  which  was  defended  by  about  sixty 
thousand  men,  consisting  of  Sardinians,  Turks  and 
a  certain  number  of  French.  The  Sardinian  out- 
posts were  driven  back,  and  an  attack  was  launched 


202  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

on  the  heights  held  by  the  French.  This  attack 
reached  the  French  lines,  but  could  proceed  no  fur- 
tlier.  It  was  driven  down  the  hill  and  across  the  river 
with  great  slaughter.  Assaults  in  other  parts  of  the 
position  were  equally  fruitless,  and  early  in  the  after- 
noon Gortschakoff  left  the  field.  His  losses  had  been 
very  heavy — 2,3G9  men  killed,  and  4,160  wounded, 
a  large  number  having  also  disappeared.  The 
French  loss  of  killed  and  wounded  amounted  to  one 
thousand  five  hundred ;  that  of  the  Sardinians  who 
conducted  themselves  with  credit,  two  hundred. 
This  defeat  took  away  from  the  Russians  the  last 
hope  they  had  of  redeeming  their  misfortune.  Their 
losses  in  the  war  had  been  enormous  and  were  esti- 
mated from  official  sources  at  two  hundred  and  forty 
thousand.  It  is  said  that  in  the  six  months  from. 
!March  to  Aui>;ust  eie;htv-one  thousand  men  had  been 
killed  and  wounded  in  and  around  Sebastopol. 

From  this  moment  the  bombardment  went  on  con- 
tinuously, the  defenders  having  no  time  to  repair 
their  defences,  and  the  garrison  being  subject  to  per- 
petual devastation  from  the  hail  of  cannon-balls. 
On  September  5,  in  preparation  for  the  intended 
storm,  the  bombardment  assumed  still  greater  pro- 
portions, about  five  thousand  Russians  being  killed 
in  the  trenches  and  in  the  town.  The  storm  began 
at  midday  on  September  8,  that  hour  having  been 
chosen  because  it  was  the  Russian  habit  to  relieve 
guard  at  that  time,  and  because  they  were  accustomed 
to  march  the  old  troops  out  before  the  new  came  in. 
The  heaviest  share  of  the  work  fell  to  the  French, 
who  were  to  attack  the  Malakhof  tower,  whereas 
the  assault  of  the  English  was  directed  against  the 
Redan.  The  storm  columns  of  Bosquet  and  Mac- 
Mahon  climbed  the  heights  without  much  difficulty 


THE  WINTER— THE  FALL  OF  SEBASTOPOL.  293 

and  planted  the  tricolour  on  the  walls,  but  inside  the 
struggle  was  most  obstinate,  and  every  traverse  was 
taken,  retaken,  and  taken  again ;  nor  could  the 
works  be  considered  as  captured  until  the  attack  upon 
the  eastern  face  had  been  successful.  The  Malakhof 
fell  at  4  P.M.  with  a  loss  of  e3,026  killed  and  wounded. 
The  English  attack  on  the  Redan  failed,  and  the  less 
said  about  it  the  better,  as,  although  the  troops 
fought  bravely,  their  efforts  were  neutralised  by  a 
series  of  blunders.  In  their  final  efforts  which 
brought  about  the  capture  of  Sebastopol,  the  French 
lost  in  all  7,567,  the  English  2,271,  and  the  Rus- 
sians as  many  as  12,913. 

With  the  fall  of  the  Malakhof  tower  the  fate  of 
Sebastopol  was  decided.  During  the  night  Gor-- 
tschakoff  blew  up  all  the  fortifications  which  still  re- 
mained uncaptured  on  the  south  side,  and  sunk  in 
the  harbour  the  remaining  ships  of  the  Russian  fleet. 
He  then  led  the  remnants  of  his  army  across  the 
harbour  to  the  north  side,  destroying  the  bridge  of 
boats  by  which  he  had  crossed.  Thus  ended  the 
Crimean  War,  which,  although  it  was  a  death  strug- 
gle between  some  of  the  most  powerful  nations  in 
the  world,  was  yet  confined  almost  entirely  to  a  con- 
flict in  a  distant  and  obscure  part  of  Europe,  a  com- 
paratively late  acquisition  of  the  Russian  Empire, 
and  to  the  cajiture  of  a  single  fortress  to  the  de- 
fence and  attack  of  which  the  resources  of  that 
mighty  Empire  were  ungrudgingly  devoted. 


PART  TEN. 

THE  FRANCO-ITALIAN  WAR  OF  1859. 


CHAPTER  XLVII. 

MONTEBELLO. 

Omitting,  for  reasons  which  we  have  already 
given,  the  political  causes  which  produced  the  war 
between  France  and  Sardinia  on  the  one  side  and 
Austria  on  the  other,  it  will  be  sufficient  to  say  that 
Austria  had  presented  an  ultimatum  to  Sardinia 
requiring  her  to  disarm,  and  that  the  final  date  fixed 
for  the  answer  was  on  the  evening  of  April  26,  1859. 
At  this  time  the  Sardinian  army  was  concentrated 
around  Alexandria,  and  the  French  troops  were 
entering  Piedmont,  partly  by  Genoa,  and  partly  by 
the  passes  of  the  Mont  Cenis  and  the  Mont  Genevre. 
It  might  have  been  expected  that  hostilities  would 
have  commenced  on  the  Austrian  side  as  soon  as  a 
negative  answer  had  been  received  from  Sardinia, 
that  is,  on  the  night  of  April  20-27,  but  the  Austrian 
army  did  not  pass  the  frontier  river,  the  Ticino, 
until  the  afternoon  of  April  29. 

At  this  time  the  Austrian  forces  in  Italy  consisted 

of  five  corps  d'armee,  the  permanent  or  normal  army 

posted  in  Lombardy  and  Venetia,  called  the  second 

army,  consisting  of  three  corps  d'armee  under  the 

294 


MONTEBELLO.  295 

command  of  Stadion,  Zobel,and  Benedek  respectively, 
the  corps  of  Schwarzenberg  which  had  arrived  from 
Vienna  in  the  first  days  of  January,  and  that  of 
Lichtenstein  in  the  middle  of  April;  Weigl's  corps 
was  just  reaching  Veuetia,  and  that  of  Clam  Gallas, 
coming  from  Bohemia,  was  not  expected  till  the  end 
of  May.  These  five  corps  gave  a  force  amonnting 
in  all  to  two  hundred  thousand  men,  of  which  sixty 
thousand  or  eighty  thousand  were  employed  in  gar- 
risons and  detachments,  leaving  one  hundred  and 
twenty  thousand  or  one  hundred  and  forty  thousand 
for  the  operations  in  Piedmont.  All  these  troops 
were  under  the  general  command  of  Field-Marshal 
Giulay.  They  advanced  in  four  columns  by  Pavia, 
Bereguardo,  Vigevano  and  Buffalora ;  a  detached 
column  to  the  right  passing  by  Sesto  Calende,  and 
another  to  the  left  crossing  the  Po  at  Piacenza. 

The  Austrians  did  not  reach  the  line  of  the  Sesia 
and  the  Po  till  May  1,  and  by  this  time  the  French 
had  occupied  the  two  points  of  Genoa  and  Susa  in 
strength  and  had  made  them  their  base.  Three 
divisions  of  French  infantry,  with  their  accompany- 
ing artillery,  were  at  Alessandria,  having  the  whole 
of  the  Piedmontese  army  on  their  left;  every  day 
added  from  Susa  and  Genoa  some  twenty  thousand 
men  more,  and  it  is  difficult  to  understand  why  the 
Austrians  moved  so  slowly. 

The  Sardinian  army  consisted  at  this  time  of 
seventy-six  thousand  infantry,  five  thousand  four 
hundred  cavalry  and  two  thousand  seven  hundred 
artillery,  making  a  total  of  eiglity-four  thousand 
men ;  but  this  strength  was  not  really  present  in  the 
field;  and  after  making  the  necessary  deduction,  the 
forces  of  the  Sub-Alpine  kingdom  cannot  be  placed 
higher   than    62,332    men   with   ninety   guns.     Be- 


296  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

sides  these  we  must  reckon  three  regiments  of  Free 
Corps  under  Garibaldi,  and  a  ISJ^ational  Guard  of 
twentv-six  thousand.  The  French  troops  consisted 
of  the  Guard  and  five  army  corps,  the  component 
parts  of  which,  as  well  as  their  generals,  had  been 
very  carefully  chosen.  The  Emperor  assumed  the 
chief  command,  with  Marshal  Vaillant  as  chief  of  the 
staff,  and  the  other  generals  were  Regnaud  de  St. 
Jean  d'Angely,  who  had  served  in  the  Russian  Cam- 
paign of  1812  ;  Baraguay  d'Hilliers,  who  had  also 
fought  under  Xapoleon  I. ;  MacMahon,  who  had  dis- 
tinguished himself  in  Algiers  and  in  the  Crimea; 
Marshal  Canrobert,  a  soldier  of  great  merit,  and 
General  Xiel.  The  force  of  the  French  may  be 
reckoned  at  107,656  infantry,  9,708  cavalry, 
10,000  artillery  and  362  guns.  Thus  the  allies  to- 
gether numbered  not  less  than  one  hundred  and 
eighty-seven  thousand,  considerably  more  than  the 
Austrians. 

On  May  14  the  Emperor  Xapoleon  arrived  at 
Alessandria,  where  General  Frossard  was  employed 
in  streugtliening  the  fortress.  The  French  army 
may  now  be  considered  to  have  joined  the  Pied- 
montese,  and  the  object  of  their  strategical  advance 
to  have  been  attained.  The  conduct  of  the  Austrians 
during  this  period  is  blamed  by  every  writer  and  is 
indeed  regarded  as  inexplicable.  Instead  of  attack- 
ing the  right  wing  of  the  Sardinian  army  or  hinder- 
ing the  march  of  the  French,  they  did  nothing  but 
threaten  the  left  wing  of  the  Sardinians,  and  con- 
demned themselves  to  remain  henceforth  on  the  de- 
fensive. It  would  have  been  better  if  they  had 
never  crossed  the  Ticino,  but  spent  the  time  in  com- 
pleting their  own  preparations.  The  only  advantage 
which  they  had  gained  was  that  they  were  established 


MONTEBELLO,  297 

in  the  enemy's  country  and  were  living  at  the  enemy's 
expense.  On  the  other  hand,  the  enemy  obtained 
full  knowledge  of  their  movements,  whereas  their 
own  information  was  verv  defective,  and  the  head- 
quarters  were  frequently  better  informed  by  the 
newspapers  than  by  their  own  agents.  At  first  they 
had  spent  their  spare  time  in  healthy  exercise,  but 
on  the  evening  of  May  14  it  began  to  rain  and  they 
withdrew  into  their  camps. 

As  the  Austrians  were  almost  entirely  without  in- 
formation as  to  the  movements  of  the  allies,  Count 
Stadion  was  sent  forward  with  eighteen  thousand 
men  to  reconnoitre.  This  led  to  the  first  encounter 
between  the  two  armies  on  Mav  20,  an  affair  which 
is  generally  known  as  the  Battle  of  Montebello.  The 
Austrians  reached  Casteggio  about  midday  and  found 
the  place  entirely  deserted,  with  windows  and  doors 
shut  as  if  no  one  were  living"  in  it.  The  infantry 
took  possession  of  it,  and  the  hussars  of  the  ad- 
vanced guard  went  on  to  Genestrello.  When  the 
hussars  reported  that  the  village  was  held  by  the 
enemy's  infantry.  Count  Schaffgotsche  determined  to 
drive  them  out,  although  contrary  to  orders,  that  he 
might  not  be  attacked  himself.  Genestrello  was 
occupied  without  difficulty,  when  Scliaffgotsche  ob- 
served that  he  had  a  strong  body  of  the  enemy  in 
front  of  him.  He  therefore  began  a  new  attack  at 
about  1  r.]\r.  These  were  the  troops  of  General 
Forey,  who  had  marched  up  from  Voghera  to  de- 
iend  his  outposts.  The  first  French  cannon-shot  was 
fired  at  1.15  p.m.;,  and  the  Austrians,  up  to  this  time 
superior  in  numbers  to  the  French,  continued  to  ad- 
vance, but  by  2  P.M.  the  rest  of  General  Forey's  di- 
vision had  arrived  on  the  field  and  the  conditions  of 
the  battle  were  changed. 


298  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

At  3  P.M.  Scliaffgotsclie  was  compelled  to  retire 
from  Genestrello,  and  an  hour  later  the  Austrians 
had  taken  up  their  position  at  Montebello,  situated 
on  a  hill  of  considerable  strength.  The  strength  of 
the  two  opposing  forces  was  now  about  equal  at 
Montebello,  but  the  Austrian  troops  were  fresh, 
and  they  were  able  to  support  themselves  by  several 
walled  country-houses  in  the  south,  and  a  walled 
graveyard  to  the  north.  Forey,  however,  did  not 
hesitate  to  attack  this  formidable  place.  The 
cavalry,  artillery  and  two  battalions  of  foot-soldiers 
advanced  along  the  main  road,  while  the  bulk  of  the 
infantry,  leaving  their  knapsacks  behind  them, 
climbed  the  precipitous  and  wooded  slope  to  the 
southern  point  of  Montel^ello,  from  which  the  village 
descends  into  one  long  street  towards  the  high-road. 
As  the  ridge  is  too  steep  for  flank  movements,  the 
French  were  obliged  to  capture  house  after  house,  to 
fight  hand  to  hand  in  narrow  streets  with  great  loss 
of  life.  Tiittle  assistance  could  be  given  from  the 
troops  in  the  place,  and  the  artillery  took  scarcely 
any  part  in  the  engagement.  At  last  the  village  was 
won  and  the  churchyard  reached  which  overhangs 
the  high-road,  and  at  G  p.m.  the  Austrians  retreated 
to  Casteggio. 

General  Forey  had  thus  in  four  hours  driven  back, 
first  a  brigade  of  three  thousand,  and  then  one  of 
four  thousand  men.  But  Count  Stadion  had 
eighteen  thousand  men  at  his  disposal,  and  even  if 
some  of  his  forces  were  too  far  from  the  battle-field 
to  be  of  use,  still  at  least  four  or  five  thousand  fresh 
troops  were  standing  on  the  flank  of  those  who  were 
engaged  and  might  have  been  employed.  It  is  true 
that  Stadion  had  given  order*  to  halt  after  reaching 
Casteggio,  because  he  did  not  desire  to  encounter  the 


-^ 


NAPOLEON  III.,  EMPEROR  OF  THE  FRENCH. 


17 


MONTEBELLO.  299 

enemy  with  troops  tired  with  a  hot  and  weary  march ; 
but  the  battle  once  begun,  Schaffgotsche  should  have 
been  supported  at  all  hazards,  and  not  to  do  this  was 
to  court  defeat.  The  loss  of  the  Austrians  on  this 
occasion  was  1,293  men,  that  of  the  French  723. 


3U0  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  XLVTII. 

PALESTRO  AISTD  MAGENTA. 

GiULAY  had  in  the  beginning  confined  his  atten- 
tion to  the  north  side  of  the  Po,  bnt  the  affair  of 
Montebello  made  him  imagine  that  the  main  attack 
of  the  French  wonld  be  directed  towards  the  south, 
in  the  direction  of  Piacenza  and  he  began  to  con- 
centrate under  that  impression.  Xapoleon  had, 
however,  determined  to  march  towards  the  north, 
to  attack  the  ric'ht  wing  of  tlie  Austrians  and  to  ad- 
vauce  upon  Milan.  The  orders  for  the  march  of 
the  French  army  on  the  left  flank  were  issued  on 
May  27:  this  movement  wa?  to  be  masked  bv  the 
Sardinian  army,  who,  for  their  purpose,  were  to  push 
on  towards  Pobbio,  by  way  of  Palestro.  The  object 
was  to  deceive  the  Austrians  as  to  the  real  move- 
ments of  the  French  army,  and  the  greatest  secrecy 
was  observed  with  regard  to  the  operations.  On 
May  30  a  detachment  of  Austrians  under  Colonel 
Ceschi  was  posted  in  Xovara  in  order  to  cover  the 
road  to  Milan,  while  other  portions  of  the  Austrian 
army  occupied  Robbio  and  Palestro. 

The  valley  of  the  Sesia  is  in  this  part  of  its  course 
so  covered  with  forest  and  brushwood  that  the  Aus- 
trians were  entirely  unable  to  see  what  was  being 
done  on  the  opposite  bank.  On  the  Austrian  side 
the  roads,  bordered  by  lofty  trees,  alone  gave  a  pass- 
age to  cavalry  and  artillery,  while  the  infantry  were 


PALESTRO  AND  MAGENTA.  301 

little  better  off,  as  it  was  almost  impossible  to  traverse 
the  rice-fields  cut  up  by  ditches  and  canals. 
Only  a  few  raised  points  offered  a  view  over 
the  plain,  one  of  which  is  the  village  of  Palestro, 
which  rises  about  ten  feet  above  the  ordinary  level. 
It  appeared  to  the  Sardinian  attack  a  somewhat  steep 
elevation  to  the  south-west,  but  sank  into  the  level 
plain  on  the  north-east.  Palestro  is  about  six  miles 
distant  from  Vercelli,  on  the  other  side  of  the  River 
Sesia.  It  happened  at  this  time  that  the  Sesia, 
which  is  usually  dry,  was  very  full  of  water,  and 
a  bridge  was  constructed  with  some  difficulty  about 
a  mile  below  the  railway  bridge  of  Vercelli  which 
had    been    destroyed. 

Although  the  bridge  had  been  very  badly  con- 
structed. King  Victor  Emnumuel  would  wait  no 
longer,  and  for  several  hourS;  until  another  bridge 
had  been  formed  lower  down  the  stream,  the  Sar- 
dinian army  defiled  across  it.  The  passage  con- 
tinued during  the  whole  morning  without  attracting 
the  attention  of  the  Austrians.  The  passing  having 
been  effected,  shortly  after  midday  the  King  made 
an  attack  on  Palestro.  At  first  all  assaults  were  re- 
pulsed, the  Austrians  being  greatly  assisted  by  the 
naxure  of  the  ground,  and  not  until,  by  the  bridging 
of  the  Cavo  del  Lago,  an  attack  on  the  north  side  of 
the  village  as  well  as  on  the  south  became  possible 
did  the  Austrians  retire.  An  attempt  was  made  to 
retake  it,  but  this  was  repulsed  by  Cialdini,  who  ad- 
vanced with  superior  forces,  and  the  Austrians  re- 
treated to  Robbio ;  the  Austrians  having  lost  460  men 
and  the  Sardinians  140.  Simultaneously  with  this 
attack  another  Austrian  division  was  driven  out  of 
Vinzaglio,  and  a  third  out  of  Borgo  Vercelli,  all  the 
troops  retiring  to  Robbio,  so  that  in  the  night  of  May 


302  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

30  the  Sardinian  army  occupied  a  strong  position 
behind  the  Bnsca. 

The  King,  however,  did  not  feel  himself  com- 
fortable in  this  position,  and  knowing  that  Palestro 
was  the  key  of  the  situation^  asked  for  reinforce- 
ments from  the  French.  His  request  was  granted 
and  Palestro  was  soon  occupied  by  fourteen  thou- 
sand men.  On  the  following  day  the  French  were 
to  cross  the  river ;  if  Palestro  were  taken  the  passage 
became  impossible.  The  Austrians,  at  last  realising 
the  importance  of  the  crisis,  prepared  to  make  the 
assault  with  a  force  of  about  seventeen  thousand,  the 
reserves  remaining  in  Robbio.  The  first  gun  was 
fired  at  10.30  a.m.^  and  the  battalion  of  Jagers  rushed 
to  storm  the  village.  Although  the  Sardinians  had 
thrown  up  earthworks  in  the  night,  the  Jagers  pene- 
trated to  the  first  houses  of  the  village,  but  they  could 
not  become  masters  of  them  or  of  the  churchyard. 
They  were  compelled  to  yield  ground  and  drew  with 
them  the  other  battalions,  the  Sardinians  pursuing 
them  as  they  fled.  While  this  was  the  fate  of  the 
centre  column,  that  on  the  left  met  with  no  better 
success  in  an  attack  on  Confienza.  The  left  column 
under  General  Szabo  reached  a  point  from  which  he 
could  see  the  bridges  thrown  across  the  Sesia  by  the 
French  and  tlieir  passage  of  the  river.  He  was 
able  to  assail  the  crossing  troops  with  a  battery  of 
artillery,  and  they  suffered  some  loss.  The  main 
conflict,  however,  took  place  on  the  Cavo  Scotti,  and 
a  large  number  of  Austrians  were  drowned  in  this 
canal  and  in  the  Sesia  itself^  and  Szabo  was  com- 
pelled to  retire  with  great  loss.  Zobel  had  no  better 
fortune  in  storming  Palestro,  but  had  to  give  way  to 
superior  numbers.  The  result  of  the  battle  was  en- 
tirely in  favour  of  the  allies,  and  the  Austrians  had 
in  the  two  days  lost  more  than  two  thousand  men< 


PALESTRO  AND  MAGENTA.  303 

In  the  meantime  Garibaldi,  who  had  been  made  a 
general  in  the  Sardinian  army,  assembled  his  troops 
in  Varese,  rei:)ulsed  an  attack  made  upon  him  by  the 
Austrian  general,  Urban,  occupied  Como,  and 
threatened  Monza;  failing,  however,  in  an  assault 
upon  the  strong  frontier  of  Laveno  on  the  shores  of 
the  Lago  Maggiore.  The  Austrians  were  now  in  full 
retreat  towards  the  Ticino.  Their  circumstances 
were  in  no  way  better  than  if,  without  declaring  war, 
they  had  passively  waited  to  be  attacked.  They 
might  in  that  case  have  completed  their  arrange- 
ments and  met  the  allies  with  seven  full  army  corps 
at  the  passages  either  of  the  Po  or  of  the  Ticino.  As 
it  was,  they  were  dispersed  in  a  long  line  from 
Varese  to  Piacenza ;  these  troops  were  weary  witli 
marching,  weakened  by  fighting  and  disheartened  by 
retreat. 

The  decisive  battle  of  Magenta  took  place  on  June 
4,  the  day  on  which  the  Emperor  had  determined  to 
cross  the  Ticino.  Magenta  is  a  small  town  of  about 
four  thousand  inhabitants,  situated  on  the  high-road 
between  ^ovara  and  Milan,  about  four  miles  from 
ihe  left  bank  of  the  Ticino.  About  half-way  between 
it  and  the  river  runs  the  canal  of  the  Xaviglio  Grande 
which  carries  the  waters  of  the  Ticino  to  Milan. 
The  canal  is  deep  and  runs  between  high  banks  so  as 
to  be  very  difficult  to  cross.  The  canal  in  this  part 
of  its  course  is  crossed  by  six  bridges,  that  of  Bernato 
in  the  north,  Buffalora  about  a  mile  below,  and  Ponte 
ITuovo  di  Magenta  on  the  high-road ;  by  the  railway 
bridge  about  a  third  of  a  mile  below,  by  Ponte 
Vecchio  di  Magenta  and  Pobecco  to  the  south.  All 
these  bridges  had  been  mined  and  placed  in  a  condi- 
tion of  defence;  a  strong  redoubt  having  been  built 
at  the  railway  bridge.     Buffalora  and  Ponte  Xuovo 


30i  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

had  also  special  defences.  From  the  bridge  of  St. 
Martino  on  the  Ticino  four  roads  diverge:  in  the 
middle  the  right  road  to  Milan  by  Magenta,  to  the 
left  the  road  to  Buifalora,  to  the  right  the  railway 
and  still  further  to  the  right  the  road  to  Ponte 
Yecchio  and  Robecco. 

Magenta  thus  formed  a  formidable  defensive 
position.  Giulay  had  intended  to  concentrate  the 
whole  of  his  forces  there ;  but  he  was  not  able  from 
various  circumstances  to  get  tojjether  more  than  a 
third  of  them,  but  at  the  same  time  the  French  were 
not  able  to  dispose  of  more  than  a  quarter  of  their 
entire  strength  for  the  attack.  The  morning  of  June 
4  was  passed  by  the  Austrian  army  in  perfect  peace. 
The  troops  cooked  their  food  without  interruption 
and  had  finished  eating  it  when  news  came  that  the 
heads  of  the  French  column  were,  advancing  upon 
Buffalora.  x\  brigade  was  immediately  sent  to  pro- 
tect the  two-  bridges  which  had  not  been  destroyed, 
those  of  the  high-road  and  of  the  railway.  The 
execution  of  these  orders  was  rendered  possible  by 
the  tardy  advance  of  the  French. 

The  heads  of  the  French  column  advanced  at  10.30 
A.M.  The  first  shots  were  fired  on  the  roads  which 
lead  from  the  bridge  over  the  Ticino  to  that  over  the 
Xaviglio.  Wimpffen  led  his  troops  partly  by  the 
Buffalora  road  and  partly  by  the  railway,  while  the 
Zouaves  with  two  pieces  of  artillery  marched  along 
the  central  causeway.  The  Austrians  fired  at  the 
advancing  troops,  gradually  retiring  at  the  same  time 
on  the  railway.  The  French  skirmishers  were 
stopped  by  a  heavy  fire,  and  Wimpffen  found  the 
!N^aviglio  well  defended.  But  Canrobert  had  not  ar- 
rived and  nothing  had  been  heard  of  MacMahon,  so 
the   Emperor   suspended   the   attack   and   withdrew 


PALESTRO  AND  MAGENTA.  305 

Wimpffen  to  a  position  five  hundred  yards  in  ad- 
vance of  the  Ticino. 

At  midday  MacMahon's  firing  was  heard  on  the 
left,  and  Wimpffen  resumed  his  advance.  Buffalora 
was  attacked  with  such  spirit  that  the  French  were 
driven  back  across  the  Canal,  without  having  time  to 
explode  the  mines  which  were  designed  to  blow  up 
the  bridge.  Attacks  in  other  directions  were  re- 
pelled by  the  arrival  of  Austrian  reinforcements, 
again  the  French  assault  was  invigorated  by  similar 
aid,  and  again  the  allies  found  themselves  over- 
powered by  superior  numbers.  The  battle  swayed 
backwards  and  forwards  as  the  forces  were  relatively 
greater  or  smaller  on  either  side.  At  2  p.m.  two 
important  points  on  the  ]Sraviglio,  the  redoubt  of 
Monte  Rotondo  and  the  Ponte  ]^uovo  Avere  in  tho 
possession  of  Mellinet's  division.  But  that  division 
contained  only  five  thousand  men  and  had  no  reserve 
to  support  it.  Nothing  had  been  heard  of  Can- 
robert  or  Niel  and  the  advance  of  MacMahon  had 
been  arrested. 

Giulay  coming  up  from  Abbiategrasso  now  sent 
two  divisions  against  Mellinet  at  Buffalora  and  Ponte 
I^uovo,  and  drove  them  back  with  great  loss ;  indeed 
the  guard  lost  one  of  its  guns.  The  houses  on  the 
left  bank  of  the  ISTaviglio  were  retaken,  those  on  the 
right  were  steadily  held  by  the  Zouaves  and  the  grena- 
diers. At  this  critical  moment  the  fortunes  of  the 
French  were  restored  by  the  arrival  of  Picard's 
brigade,  forming  a  part  of  Canrobert's  corps.  Ar- 
riving at  full  speed,  they  reached  the  bridge  of  St. 
Martino  at  2  p.m.,  and  immediately  supported 
Wimpffen,  who  was  in  great  difficulties.  The  rush 
of  Picard's  columns  was  irresistible,  and  they  had 
credit  which  seldom  falls  to  the  lot  of  a  French  regi- 
20 


306  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

ment,  that  of  saving  the  guard.  They  succeeded  in 
getting  possession  of  the  village  of  Ponte  Vecchio, 
making  numerous  prisoners,  but  they  could  not  pene- 
trate to  the  left  bank.  It  was  now  about  3.30  p.m., 
and  the  aspect  of  affairs  had  undergone  much  altera- 
tion in  the  last  hour  and  a  half. 

At  the  same  time  the  position  of  the  Emperor  was 
verv  serious.  The  Austrians  threatened  to  force 
the  passages  both  of  Ponte  !Nuovo  and  of  the  railway. 
The  Emperor,  when  asked  for  reinforcements,  re- 
plied, "  I  have  no  one  to  send.  Bar  the  passage, 
keep  your  ground."  The  French  columns  on  the 
Ponte  Xuovo  bridge  were  visibly  thinning;  they 
could  not  advance  and  would  not  retreat.  Eor  hours 
nothing  had  been  heard  of  iVIacMahon  on  the  left, 
and  the  enemy  Avas  pressing  with  terrible  force  on 
the  right.  Just  at  this  moment  MacJMahon's  cannon 
was  heard  again  on  the  left,  and  Canrobert  came  up 
in  person  to  announce  that  reinforcements  were  at 
hand.  The  fact  was  that  MacMahon,  who  had 
crossed  both  the  Sesia  and  the  !N^aviglio  higher  up  at 
Turbigo  and  was  to  attack  the  right  flank  of  the  Aus- 
trians at  Robecchetta  and  Cuogiono,  had  met  with 

CO  ' 

great  difficulties.  Leaving  Turbigo  at  about  9.30 
A.M.^  he  advanced  towards  Baffalora  and  Magenta  in 
two  columns,  the  right  column  under  La  Motterouge 
and  Camou,  the  left  under  Espinasse.  The  right 
column  met  the  enemv  on  comine;  out  of  Cuo;o;iono, 
and  drove  them  to  Casate,  after  capturing  which 
they  advanced  on  Buffalora.  But  they  met  with 
considerable  resistance  in  the  shape  of  the  main  Aus- 
trian reserves.  Lebrun,  the  chief  of  the  staff,  climb- 
ing the  steeple  of  Cuggiono,  perceived  that  the  coun- 
try around  Buffalora  was  full  of  troops  and  that 
columns  were  moving  in  the  direction  of  Cuggiono, 


PALESTRO  AND  MAGENTA.  307 

which  the  division  of  Monteroiige  would  not  be 
strona:  enoush  to  resist.  He  also  saw  that  the  right 
and  left  divisions  were  getting  too  far  separated  and 
that  Camou's  division  was  in  the  rear.  He  there- 
fore ordered  Motterouge  to  retreat  towards  Cuggio- 
no,  and  orders  were  sent  to  Camou  to  hasten  his 
march  and  to  Espinasse  to  advance  quickly  upon  Mar- 
cello.  The  division  of  Motterouge  remained  in  their 
position  for  two  hours,  isolated  and  exposed  to  an  at- 
tack on  the  left  flank. 

The  Austrians  had  indeed  met  MacMahon's  at- 
tack by  proceeding  from  Magenta  in  three  columns, 
one  directed  against  Motterouge,  one  against  Espi- 
nasse, and  a  third  in  the  centre  between  the  two.  The 
situation  was  critical  until  Camou's  division  coming 
up  filled  up  the  gap  between  the  two  columns  of 
the  French  attack.  But  MacMahon  could  do  nothing 
until  Espinasse  had  reached  his  objective;  he  per- 
fectly understood  the  situation,  and  was  as  anxious 
to  reach  the  Emperor  as  the  Emperor  was  to  receive 
his  assistance.  He  and  his  staff  had  to  remain  still 
in  a  condition  of  feverish  impatience  whilst  tlie 
musketry  and  cannon  fire  sounded  fiercely  from  the 
iN'avifflio  and  the  south  wind  brought  the  smell  of 
powder  to  their  nostrils. 

MacMahon  rode  in  search  of  Espinasse,  to  whom 
he  explained  the  situation,  ordering  liim  to  take  a 
firm  position  with  his  left  at  IMarcello,  to  extend  his 
rifi-ht  in  the  direction  of  Buffalora,  and  to  march  to- 
wards  the  steeple  of  Magenta.  Motterouge  received 
similar  orders,  and  at  Buffalora  joined  some  French 
troops  who  had  crossed  at  St.  Martino.  Uniting 
with  them,  La  Motterouge  advanced  upon  Magenta. 
There  was  heavy  fighting  at  Cassino  Xuovo  and  at 
a  brickfield  in  the  rear.     Espinasse  accomplished  the 


308  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

task  allotted  to  bim  with  great  difficulty  and  con- 
siderable loss ;  and  it  was  not  till  5  p.m.  tbat  tbe 
junction  of  tbe  two  columns  was  effected. 

Mac^Slabon  now  reformed  bis  line  and,  placing 
Camou  in  reserve,  gave  tbe  order  to  advance  from  all 
sides  on  tbe  steeple  of  Magenta.  His  troops  marcbed 
forward  witb  drums  beating  and  colours  flying. 
Little  resistance  was  made  until  Magenta  itself  was 
readied,  but  bere  every  bouse  was  pierced  for 
musketry;  tbe  streets  were  barred  by  barricades,  tbe 
gardens  were  turned  into  redoubts,  tbe  cburcbyard 
and  even  tbe  spire  were  armed  witb  artillery  and 
riflemen.  Tbe  battle  raged  witb  especial  fury  at  tbe 
open  space  of  tbe  railway  station,  and  Espinasse  was 
killed.  Tbe  struggle  was  maintained  witb  equal 
rigour  on  tbe  iSTaviglio  canal,  and  no  essential  pro- 
gress was  made  until  tbe  arrival  of  Trocbu  at  tbe 
Ponte  Veccbio  at  7  p.m.  It  was  not  till  9  p.m.  tbat 
tbe  field  of  battle  was  completely  in  tbe  possession  of 
the  French,  who  encamped  upon  tbe  ground  which 
they  had  so  bravely  won.  In  this  hotly  contested 
battle  the  allies  lost  four  thousand  five  hundred  men, 
of  whom  a  hundred  were  taken  prisoners,  and  tbe 
Austrians  ten  thousand  men,  of  whom  five  thousand 
were  prisoners.  MacMahon  received  the  title  of 
Duke  of  Magenta,  which  be  richly  deserved  for  his 
boldness  in  helping  to  unite  bis  two  divisions,  and 
his  sagacity  in  concentrating  on  Marcello  rather  tbaii 
on  Buffalora,  thus  attacking  the  Austrian  reserve  and 
taking  many  prisoners. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SOLFERINO.  309 


CHAPTER  XLIX. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  SOLFERIjSTO. 

On  June  5  the  Austrian  army  began  its  retreat 
without  much  interference  from  the  French,  who  on 
their  side  expected  to  be  attacked.  But  on  June  6  it 
was  evident  that  the  Austrians  were  intending  to 
sacrifice  Lombardy  without  further  struggle,  and  on 
this  day  the  Emperor  moved  his  headquarters  to 
Magenta.  On  June  7  a  French  corps  d'armee 
marched  rapidly  through  Milan,  and  on  the  follow- 
ing morning  the  allied  sovereigns  entered  the  capital 
of  Lombardy  in  triumph  amidst  the  enthusiastic  joy 
of  the  population.  It  w^as  now  evident  that  Giulay 
intended  to  withdraw  to  the  Mincio,  where  he  would 
be  protected  by  the  famous  quadrilateral  of  for- 
tresses, Mantua,  Verona,  Pesehiera,and  Legnago.  To 
impede  this  movement  the  Emperor  despatched  the 
first  and  second  corps  in  the  direction  of  Lodi,  hoping 
that  they  would  reach  the  Adda  before  the  rear-guard 
of  the  enemy  and  would  then  cut  them  in  two.  This 
operation  was  entrusted  to  Paraguay  d'Hilliers, 
under  whose  orders  MacMahon  was  placed,  both  of 
these  generals  having  been  created  marshals  after  the 
battle  of  Magenta.  This  movement  failed ;  Giulay's 
rear-guard  passed  the  Lambro  a  few  hours  before  the 
French  reached  that  river,  and  a  brigade  which  he 
left  there  encountered  the  French  at  Melegnano  in 
the  evening  of  June  8,  and  by  their  firm  countenance 


310  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

stopped  the  march  of  the  allies,  and  allowed  the  Aus- 
trians  to  continue  their  retreat  in  peace. 

Xo  other  event  of  military  importance  occurred 
till  the  battle  of  Solferino,  fought  on  June  24,  1859, 
which  put  an  end  to  the  war.  This  was  fought  in  a 
space  bounded  to  the  north  by  the  Lake  of  Garda  and 
the  railway,  to  the  south  by  the  Oglio,  to  the  west 
bv  the  Chiese  and  the  east  bv  the  Mincio ;  beins' 
about  twenty  miles  in  deplli  and  twelve  miles  in 
length.  South  of  the  Lake  of  Garda  run  three  parallel 
chains  of  hills,  in  the  southernmost  of  which,  over- 
hanging the  plain,  are  the  heights  of  Valsana,  Monte 
Fenile,  Solferino  and  Cavriana,  which  played  an 
important  part  in  the  battle.  On  the  central  chain 
are  the  heights  of  Castel-venzago  and  Madonna  della 
Scoperta,  and  on  the  northern  line  of  bills,  San  Mar- 
tino,  Ostaglio  and  Feuiletto,  which  lay  in  the  sphere 
of  the  operations  of  the  Sardinian  army.  The  cul- 
minating point  of  the  field  is  the  tower  of  Solferino, 
from  which  there  is  an  extensive  view  over  the  Lom- 
bard-Venetian plain,  and  which  is  therefore  called 
by  the  natives  the  Spia  d'ltalia. 

The  plain  is  traversed  by  the  high-road  which  leads 
from  Castiglione  to  Mantua  by  way  of  Guidizzolo 
and  Goito.  The  traveller  proceeding  along  this  road 
sees  first  the  hamlet  of  Le  Fontane,  then  the  village  of 
Le  Grote,  half  hidden  under  a  fold  of  Monte  Fenile, 
then  some  of  the  houses  of  Cavriana^  in  the  moun- 
tains, and  then  Volta,  with  a  conspicuous  campanile, 
at  some  distance.  Bye-roads  lead  to  three  various 
villages,  and  the  fields  are  planted  with  rice,  mul- 
berries and  maize.  The  larire  villao-e  of  Guidizzolo 
is  then  reached,  a  place  of  military  importance,  be- 
cause from  it  issue  three  carriageable  roads,  one  to 
Cavriana,  one  to  Volta  and  one  to  Cenesara  in  the 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SOLFERINO.  311 

south.  On  the  right  of  the  high-road  lie  the  villages 
of  Carpenedolo,  to  the  south-west  of  Castiglione, 
Medole,  to  the  west  of  Guiiizzolo  and  Cenesara  be- 
fore mentioned.  The  ground  between  Guidizzolo 
and  Medole  is  covered  with  many  houses,  whose  red- 
tiled  roofs  are  visible  through  the  trees,  the  hamlet 
of  Kebeeco  forming  the  principal  group.  Still  fur- 
ther to  the  right  are  situated  Acqua  Fredda,  the 
walls  and  towers  of  Castel  Goffredo.  due  east  of 
Acqua  Fredda,  and  south  of  Medole  and  other 
villages.  We  should  also  mention  the  Strada 
Lugina,  which  leaves  the  Lake  of  Garda  east  of 
Kivoltelle,  passes  the  railway  and  reaches  Pozzo- 
lengo  by  San  Martino,  the  ordinary  road  from  Eivol- 
telle  to  Pozzolengo,  and  the  road  from  Lonato  to  the 
same  place. 

The   forces   on   either   side   were  as  follows:  The 
French  army  consisted  of  five  corps  d'armee,  as  be- 
fore, with  the  Guard,  and  five  Sardinian  divisions, 
the  losses  in  previous  operations  having  been  made 
up.     Thus  the  allied  army  contained  seventeen  di- 
visions of  infantry  and  five  of  cavalry  wdth  a  large 
number  of  cannon,  making  a  total  of  one  hundred 
and  sixty  thousand  men.     The  Austrian  army  had 
been  entirely  reorganised.     It  possessed  now  eight 
corps  of  infantry  besides  a  detached  brigade,  and  one 
corps  of  cavalry,  forming  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
four  battalions  "of  infantry,  and  sixty  squadrons  of 
cavalry,  amounting  altogether  to  about  the  same  num- 
ber of  one  hundred  and  sixty  thousand,  under  the 
command  of  the  Emperor  Francis  Joseph  in  person. 
On  the  morning  of  June  23  the  headquarters  of  the 
Emperor  of  Austria  were  at  Villaf  ranca ;  those  of 
the  first  army,  under  Wimpffen,  were  at  Mantua; 
and  those  of  the  second  army,  under  Schlick,  w^ere 


312  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

at  Custozza.  The  eighth  corps,  under  Benedek, 
forming  the  extreme  right,  was  at  Peschiera,  and  the 
second,  under  Lichtenstein,  forming  the  extreme  left, 
at  Mantua. 

It  was  intended  that,  on  the  morning  of  June  23, 
the  Austrians  should  advance  from  these  positions 
to  surprise  the  allies,  falling  on  their  right  flank  and 
driving  them  towards  the  Alps ;  it  was  hoped  that 
the  decisive  battle  would  be  fought  on  June  24. 
Therefore  on  that  day  the  army  crossed  the  Mincio 
at  six  different  points,  and  occupied  on  the  evening 
the  line  of  Pozzolengo,  Solferino,  Cavriana, 
Guidizzolo,  Rebecco  and  Medole,  their  advanced 
posts  being  at  Madonna  della  Scoperta,  Le  Grote, 
Camarino,  Mcdole  and  Castel  Goffredo,  the  reserves 
at  Foresto  and  Castel  Grimaldo.  On  the  following 
morning  at  9  a.m.  the  army  was  to  advance  to  the 
Chiese. 

But  before  that  could  be  done  the  Chiese  had  been 
passed  by  the  great  bulk  of  the  allied  troops,  the  inten- 
tion of  the  Emperor  of  the  French  being  to  occupy 
the  hilly  regions  of  which  we  have  just  given  a 
description  and  to  force  a  passage  across  the  Mincio, 
where  the  corps  of  Prince  l^apoleon  had  arrived,  and 
the  flotilla  could  act  upon  the  Lake  of  Garda.  His 
headquarters  on  the  evening  of  June  23  were  at  Mon- 
techiaro.  It  was  intended  that  on  the  following  day 
the  French  army  should  reach  the  banks  of  the  Min- 
cio, the  headquarters  being  removed  to  Castiglione. 
The  army  was  to  commence  its  march  at  2  a.m.  in 
order  to  avoid  the  great  heat  of  the  sun.  It 
thus  happened  that  the  two  armies  came  into 
collision  while  they  were  both  preparing  to  make  an 
offensive  attack  in  opposite  directions,  neither  having 
the  intention  of  fighting  a  decisive  battle  on  that 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SOLFERINO.  313 

particular  day.  The  victory  would  be  likely  to  rest 
with  that  army  who  could  most  rapidly  transform 
its  line  of  march  into  a  line  of  battle. 

The  battle  of  Solferino  may  be  divided  into  two 
principal  periods,  the  first  of  which  contains  the  en- 
gagement resulting  from  the  fortuitous  shock  of  two 
hosts  neither  of  whom  expected  to  meet  the  other, 
and  before  the  orders  given  for  the  march  on  either 
side  had  been  modified.  The  second  period  begins 
when  the  action  of  the  battle  becomes  general  and 
concentrated,  and  may  again  be  divided  into  two 
smaller  periods,  the  attack  of  the  French  on  the 
centre,  and  that  of  the  Austrians  on  the  left.  The 
Sardinians  and  the  eighth  Austrian  corps  had  as  it 
were  a  battle  to  themselves.  To  describe  the  battle 
shortly  we  may  say  that  the  two  armies,  nearly  equal 
in  strength,  marching  towards  each  on  a  front  of 
equal  depth,  without  knowing  each  other's  position, 
met  on  the  line  of  San  Martino,  Solferino,  Guidiz- 
zolo  and  Medole.  The  Austrian  army  tried  at  first 
to  execute  its  original  plan  of  turning  the  French 
right.  The  army  of  the  allies  concentrated  towards 
its  centre,  a  movement  which  was  hastened  and  em- 
phasised by  the  Emperor.  Thus  it  happened  that 
the  positions  of  Solferino  and  San  Casciano  were  at- 
tacked by  three  French  corps,  and  were  also  de- 
fended by  three  Austrian  corps.  The  French  suc- 
ceeded in  piercing  the  centre  of  the  Austrian  army, 
because  their  three  corps  attacked  simultaneously, 
whereas  the  Austrian  corps  only  came  up  to  the  de- 
fence in  succession.  At  the  same  time  the  four 
Austrian  corps  which  acted  on  the  left  wing  were  de- 
feated by  two  French  corps,  because  they  could  not 
manage  to  act  together,  and  one  corps,  which  was 
intended  to  strike  a  decisive  blow,  was  never  engaged 


314  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

at  all.  On  the  Austrian  right  the  eighth  corps  suc- 
ceeded in  holding  back  the  Sardinians  till  nightfall, 
but  this  could  not  redress  their  failure  in  other  parts 
of  the  field.  The  capture  of  Cavriana  finally  put  an 
end  to  the  battle  and  the  Austrians  retired  behind 
the  Mincio. 

Let  us  now  amplify  this  sketch  more  in  detail. 
The  allies  began  their  march  in  the  early  morning 
of  June  24.  By  the  orders  issued  the  night  before, 
the  Sardinians  were  to  march  on  Pozzolengo,  Bara- 
guay  d'Hilliers  on  Solferino,  MacMahon  on  Cavri- 
ana, Xiel  on  Guidizzolo,  Canrobert  on  Medole,  the 
Imperial  Guard  on  Castiglione,  while  the  cavalry 
were  to  act  in  the  plains  between  Solferino  and 
Medole.  Setting  out  at  3  a.m.  the  French  en- 
countered no  serious  opjiosition  till  5  a.m.^  when 
MacMahon  saw  that  the  situation  was  more  serious 
than  lie  had  expected.  He  therefore  halted  and 
waited  for  the  arrival  of  the  French  troops  at  Medole, 
remaining  inactive  for  the  space  of  two  hours.  About 
7  A.M.  MacMahon  was  informed  that  Niel  had  ar- 
rived before  Medole,  and  that  he  would  concentrate 
on  his  left  as  soon  as  he  had  captured  that  village, 
and  that  he  would  take  measures  for  Canrobert  con- 
centrating in  the  same  direction.  MacMahon  there- 
fore, at  about  8.30  a.m.,  took  possession  of  Casa 
Marino  on  the  high-road  to  Mantua  commanding  the 
lower  ground  of  Guidizzolo,  and  thus  gained  a  better 
front  for  the  second  corps.  He  was  here  immedi- 
ately assailed  by  a  strong  Austrian  column  advanc- 
ing from  Guidizzolo,  which  caused  him  considerable 
loss,  but  did  not  succeed  in  driving  him  back.  It 
was  not  till  11  a.m.  that  the  Due  de  Magenta  was 
informed  that  jSTiel's  corps  was  in  a  position  to  join 
him  and  was  therefore  able  to  advance  in  the  direc- 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SOLFERINO.  315 

tion  of  Solferino,  where  a  vigorous  battle  had  been 
for  some  time  proceeding.  It  had  thus  taken  six 
hours  in  this  part  of  the  field  for  the  order  of  march 
to  be  changed  to  an  order  of  battle. 

What  had  been  the  fate  in  the  meantime  of  the 
corps  of  Niel  and  Canrobert  ?  Niel  had  set  out  for 
JMedole  at  3  a.m.  in  a  single  column.  He  met  the 
Austrian  cavalry  just  in  front  of  Medole  at  about 
6  A.M.,  and  drove  them  back  to  the  village.  Medole 
itself  was  taken  at  7  a.m.,  and  the  Austrians  retired 
to  Guidizzolo.  Niel  then  succeeded  in  advancing 
as  far  as  a  farm  called  Casa  ISTuova,  a  short  distance 
from  Guidizzolo.  From  this  point  he  could  see  the 
difiiculties  in  which  MacMahon  was  placed  and  the 
forces  against  which  he  had  to  contend,  and  he  made 
preparations  for  joining  him.  But  he  was  obliged 
to  wait  for  his  artillery  and  for  the  division  of  Failly 
which  was  marching  in  its  rear.  There  was  there- 
fore a  long  delay  before  he  could  make  a  forward 
movement.  Canrobert,  in  command  of  the  third 
corps,  had  started  at  2.30  a.m.,  also  for  Medole.  He 
had  passed  the  Chiese  at  Visano,  but  the  march  was 
a  difficult  one,  and  it  was  7  a.m.  before  his  first  col- 
umns reached  Castel  GofFredo,  a  small  to^v^^  defended 
by  walls.  Medole  was  not  reached  till  9.15  a.m. 
Canrobert  had  then  great  difficulty  in  determining 
whether  he  should  be  justified  in  diverging  towards 
the  left  when  his  instructions  specially  ordered  him 
to  give  his  chief  attention  to  his  right.  Eventually 
he  despatched  General  Renault  Avith  five  battalions 
on  the  road  to  Cenesara  and  with  the  remainder  of 
his  force  gave  support  to  ITiel.  These  movements 
took  place  at  about  10.30  a.m.,  so  that  before  11  a.m. 
Niel  could  announce  to  MacMahon  that  he  was  able 
to  follow  the  second  corps  in  its  movement  towards 
the  left. 


316  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

The  Sardinians,  on  the  extreme  left,  under  the 
command  of  the  King,  were  charged  with  an  inde- 
pendent operation.  Four  divisions  were  to  take  pos- 
session of  Pozzolengo  and  the  environs  of  Peschiera, 
whilst  the  division  of  Cialdini  and  the  chasseurs  of 
Garibaldi  were  to  watch  the  passages  of  the  Alps. 
In  the  earlv  morning  of  June  24  the  first  division  set 
out  ]>v  various  mountain  roads,  and  met  the 
Austrians  first  at  La  Madonna  della  Scoperta,  and 
at  the  farm  of  Casellino  ^uovo.  The  Emperor  sum- 
moned them  to  Solferino,  but  it  was  necessary  first 
to  get  possession  of  La  Madonna,  and  many  lives 
were  lost  in  the  attempt  to  do  so.  The  divisions  who 
marched  on  Pozzolengo  were  engaged  with  the  Austri- 
ans at  about  7.30  a.m.^  and  the  struggle  then  initiated 
lasted  for  thirteen  or  fourteen  hours,  the  Sardinians 
being  eventually  repulsed. 

We  have  thus  seen  that  at  10  a.m.  the  battle  was 
engaged  along  the  whole  front  of  the  allies,  from  the 
Lake  of  Garda  to  Castel  Goffredo.  As  early  as  Y 
A.M.  the  Emperor  of  the  French  could  observe,  from 
a  lieight  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Castiglione,  that 
his  troops  had  found  themselves  in  the  presence  of 
the  enemy  and  were  seriously  fighting.  It  was  im- 
portant for  him  to  know  in  what  part  of  the  field 
the  Austrians  were  in  greatest  force,  and  whether 
he  should  concentrate  his  army  on  the  centre,  the 
right  or  the  left.  He  determined  that  it  should  be 
on  the  centre,  and  he  determined  rigktly.  He  there- 
fore took  measures  for  directing  the  efforts  of  his 
army  against  the  heights  of  Solferino  and  Cavriana. 
This  gave  rise  to  the  orders  which  we  have  already 
mentioned  given  to  Niel  and  Canrobert  to  move 
towards  their  left,  and  to  the  King  Victor  Emmanuel 
to  move  towards  his  right. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SOLFERINO.       317 

At  this  moment  Baragiiay  d'Hilliers  was  assault- 
ing the  strong  position  of  Solferino  held  by  Count 
Stadion,  the  hill  covered  with  cypresses,  the  grave- 
yard and  the  castle  dominated  by  the  well-known 
tower,  the  Spy  of  Italy,  all  important  points,  being 
in  excellent  condition  of  defence  and  well  supplied 
with  artillery.  The  walls  of  the  cemetery  defended 
in  flank  by  the  cypress  hill  defied  all  efforts,  and  the 
Austrians  were  able  to  act  with  energy  on  the  offen- 
sive. The  struggle  on  either  side  was  terrific  and  it 
was  not  till  3  p.m.  that  the  French  could  place  their 
victorious  flags  on  the  tower  and  on  the  cypress  hill. 
The  Austrians  were  then  driven  from  Solferino  and 
an  important  point  had  been  gained. 

There  still  remained  the  heights  of  Cavriana  to 
the  east,  a  village  furnished  with  ancient  walls,  and 
strengthened  by  a  castle.  The  French  arrived  at  this 
point  at  4  p.m.^  and  the  struggle  of  Solferino  could 
be  here  renewed.  Fortunately  the  Due  de  Magenta 
was  engaged  in  assaulting  this  strong  position  from 
another  side,  from  the  farm  of  San  Cassiano.  In 
consequence  of  this  double  attack  Cavriana  was  taken 
at  about  4.30  p.m.^  and  the  Austrians  were  in  full 
retreat  towards  Yolta.  In  spite  of  the  vigorous  de- 
fence made  by  the  rear-guard  under  Zobel  they  would 
have  been  relentlessly  pursued,  if  a  very  violent  storm 
had  not  burst  upon  the  combatants,  as  often  hap- 
pens in  seriously  contested  battles,  and  stopped  fur- 
ther operations.  At  about  6.30  p.m.  the  Austrians 
began  to  retreat  in  all  directions,  and  their  centre  was 
entirely  in  the  power  of  the  French. 

In  the  meantime  important  conflicts  had  been 
taking  place  on  the  two  wings.  Niel,  on  the  right, 
trying  to  force  his  way  from  Medole  to  Guidizzolo, 
.was  attacked  in  force  by  Schwarzenberg,   and  the 


318  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Aiistrians  retained  possessior*  of  this  place  till  10 
P.M.  Victor  Emmanuel  on  the  left  was  fighting  for 
his  life  at  San  Martino,  situated  on  the  Strada  Lu- 
gone,  between  Rivoltella  and  Pozzolengo.  This  was 
not  taken  until  sunset,  after  the  capture  of  Solferino 
had  become  already  known.  Cannon  were  immedi- 
ately placed  on  the  San  Martino  heights,  and  at  night- 
fall the  Austrians  resigned  the  whole  plateau  to  the 
Piedmontese.  At  those  towns  the  Sardinian  divi- 
sions, which  had  been  engaged  at  Madonna  della 
Scoperta,  joined  with  those  who  had  I'ust  conquered 
at  San  Martino,  having  had  great  difficulties  to  en- 
counter from  the  opposition  of  the  enemy  and  the 
nature  of  the  ground.  The  Sardinians  had  thus 
achieved  the  conquest  and  were  able  to  maintain 
the  possession  of  the  high  plateau  at  which  they  had 
arrived,  but  they  had  lost  six  thousand  men,  consider- 
ably more  than  their  opponents.  Indeed  both  sides 
claimed  the  credit  of  the  victory. 

The  general  retreat  of  the  left  of  tlie  Austrian 
ai"ray  began  at  a  little  after  5  p.m.^  just  at  the  moment 
when  the  storm  burst ;  Benedek  on  the  right  had  been 
able  to  hold  out  against  the  Sardinians  for  two  hours 
longer.  Driven  from  San  ^Martino  he  occupied  Poz- 
zolengo till  7  P.M.  and  covered  the  retreat  of  the 
Austrians  during  the  niglit.  N^either  here  nor  in  the 
centre  was  there  any  pursuJt ;  the  Emperor  of  the 
French  occupied  the  quarters  in  which  the  Emperor 
of  Austria  had  slept  the  night  before.  On  June  25 
the  headquarters  of  Francis  Joseph  were  at  Villa- 
franca,  and  on  June  27  at  Verona,  and  on  that  day 
the  French  occupied  the  line  of  the  Mincio.  In  the 
battle  of  Solferino  the  Austrians  lost  a  total  of  21,500 
men;  the  allies  a  total  of  18,500,  made  up  of  13,000 
French  and  5,300  Sardinians. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SOLFERINO.  319 

We  need  not  pursue  the  history  of  this  campaign 
anv  further.  Sufficient  to  sav  that  for  reasons  partly 
political  and  partly  military  the  Emperor  iSTapoleon 
determined  not  to  proceed  to  the  reduction  of  the 
Quadrilateral,  or  with  the  conquest  of  Venetia,  An 
armistice  was  signed  between  the  French  and  Austri- 
ans  on  July  8,  1859,  by  which  Victor  Emmanuel 
obtained  possession  of  the  !^^ilanese. 


PART  ELEVEN. 

THE  WAR  OF  secessio:n^  in  ameeica. 


CHAPTER  L. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  BULL  RUN. 


It  has  been  said  on  several  occasion'^  that  it  is  not 
within  the  province  of  this  work  to  deal  with  politi- 
cal history  except  so  far  as  it  cannot  be  distinguished 
from  military  history.  This  rule  must  be  specially 
observed  in  narrating  the  War  of  Secession  in 
America,  where  fundamental  principles  were  called 
into  question,  as  to  the  right  of  a  State  seceding  or 
withdrawing  from  the  Union,  about  which  opinions 
are  still  divided.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  the  Presi- 
dential Election  of  1860  turned  upon  the  question  of 
Slaverv,  and  that  when  it  was  known  that  Abraham 
Lincoln,  the  Republican  candidate,  was  elected. 
South  Carolina  called  a  convention  to  consider  the 
question  of  secession,  and  that  on  December  20,  1860, 
the  convention  passed  an  ordinance  declaring  that 
the  union  between  South  Carolina  and  the  other 
States  was  dissolved.  Six  other  vStates  passed  ordi- 
nances of  a  similar  character  within  two  months, 
Mississippi,  Florida,  Alabama,  Georgia,  Louisiana 
and  Texas.  All  these  were  cotton  States,  in  which 
cotton  was  gro%\ai  with  the  assistance  of  slaves. 
320 


THE  BATTLE  OF  BULL  RUN.  321 

These  ordinances  were  followed  by  the  seizure  of 
forts,  arsenals  and  custom-houses,  belonging  to  the 
Federal,  or  Central  Government,  by  the  formation 
of  a  Confederate  Government^  and  by  the  perma- 
nent election  of  Jefferson  Davis  to  be  President.  The 
Confederacy  then  formed  was  afterwards  joined  by 
Virginia,  Arkansas  and  Xorth  Carolina,  Kentucky 
refusing  to  secede.  For  the  adhesion  of  Tennessee 
and  Missouri  to  the  secession,  there  was  a  prolonged 
struggle. 

The  first  action  of  the  Civil  War  was  the  capture 
of  Fort  Sumter,  situated  on  an  island  in  Charles- 
ton Harbour,  and  belonging  to  the  Federal  Govern- 
ment. Its  surrender  was  demanded,  and  when  this 
was  refused  the  Confederate  batteries  opened  fire 
upon  it  on  April  12,  1861.  The  bombardment  con- 
tinued for  two  days,  and  on  Sunday  morning,  April 
14,  the  fort  surrendered,  the  garrison  being  allowed 
to  march  out  with  the  honours  of  war.  Xo  life  was 
lost  on  either  side,  but  the  flames  of  civil  war  were 
kindled. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  war  the  Confederates 
stood  upon  the  defensive ;  this  attitude  was  not  chosen 
from  weakness,  as  is  shown  by  the  successes  which 
they  met  with  in  their  earlier  operations.  But  in 
separating  from  the  Union  they  had  declared  that 
their  object  was  to  gain  their  own  independence  and 
not  to  effect  the  subjugation  of  other  States.  Had 
they  made  war  in  the  Northern  States,  as  the  Fed- 
erals made  war  in  Virginia,  Louisiana  and  Georgia, 
they  would  have  falsified  the  principles  for  which 
they  took  up  arms.  Therefore  their  defensive  atti- 
tude is  to  be  attributed  ratlier  to  political  than  to 
military  considerations. 

On  the  dav  after  the  fall  of  Fort  Sumter 
21 


322  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

President  Lincoln  called  out  the  militia  to 
the  number  of  seventy-five  thousand  from  the 
several  States  of  the  Union,  and  appealed 
to  all  loval  citizens  to  favour  the  federal 
cause.  The  response  to  this  appeal  was  much 
stronger  and  more  unanimous  than  could  have  been 
expected;  recruiting  offices  were  opened  in  every 
town,  men  of  all  sorts  and  conditions  left  their  busi- 
ness to  step  into  the  ranks,  and  in  a  few  days  the 
Government  was  offered  several  times  as  many  ti"Oops 
as  had  been  called  for.  All  kinds  of  buildings,  even 
churches,  were  turned  into  temporary  barracks ;  vil- 
lage greens  and  city  squares  were  occupied  by  drill- 
ing soldiers,  but  there  was  a  irreat  scarcitv  of  arms. 

The  first  blood  was  shed  at  Baltimore,  where  four 
companies  of  a  Pennsylvanlan  regiment,  who  were 
attempting  to  march  across  the  city,  met  a  riotous 
procession  following  a  Secession  flag.  After  some 
provocation  had  been  given,  orders  were  issued  to 
tire  into  the  mob,  and  many  of  the  victims  fell. 
Three  militiamen  were  killed,  and  their  bodies  were 
sent  home  to  their  native  Stnte,  the  first-fruits  of  a 
long  course  of  sacrifices.  On  the  night  of  May  2-i 
four  regiments  of  Northern  troops  crossed  the  Poto- 
mac, and  took  possession  of  Arlington  Heights,  which 
commanded  Washington.  One  regiment  commanded 
by  Ellsworth,  who  had  distinguished  himself  by 
teaching  a  Chicago  comp^my  the  Zouave  drill, 
marched  to  i^\lexandria,  where  a  secessional  flag  was 
flying  over  the  principal  hotel.  Accompanied  by 
two  soldiers  he  went  to  the  top  of  the  house  and 
seized  the  flag,  but  as  he  was  returning  with  it,  he 
was  shot  by  the  hotel-keeper  on  the  stairs.  Ellsworth 
became  the  hero  of  the  national  movement. 

The  first  troops  called  for  by  President  Lincoln 


THE  BATTLE  OF  BULL  RUN.  323 

had  only  been  engaged  for  three  months ;  but  on  May 
3  another  proclamation  called  out  forty-two  thousand 
volunteers  for  three  years^  and  assumed  power  to 
raise  ten  new  regiments  for  the  regular  army,  as  well 
as  for  eighteen  thousand  volunteer  seamen  for  the 
navy.  When  Congress  met  on  July  4  the  President 
asked  for  four  hundred  thousand  men  and  four  hun- 
dred million  dollars,  and  received  five  hundred  thou- 
sand men  and  five  hundred  million  dollars.  By  this 
time  Richmond  in  Virginia  bad  been  made  the  capi- 
tal of  the  Confederacy.  A  cry  Avas  immediately 
raised  of  "  On  to  Richmond."  Some  experienced 
generals  were  opposed  to  undertaking  an  offensive 
movement  with  raw  troops,  and  advised  that  they 
should  only  be  used  to  protect  Washington  and  keep 
Maryland  from  seceding ;  but  political  considerations 
determined  an  onward  course,  and  the  first  result  was 
the  battle  of  Bull  Run,  which  was  fought  on  July  21, 
1861. 

A  Confederate  army  commanded  by  General  Beau- 
regard had  been  sent  to  occupy  Manassas  Junction, 
which  was  the  railroad  centre  of  northern  Virginia, 
but  he  determined,  for  tactical  reasons,  to  move  for- 
ward to  the  stream  of  Bull  Run.  There  are  six  pas- 
sages over  this  river  from  Union  Mills,  which  is  on 
the  Alexandrian  railway,  to  Stone  Bridge,  which  is 
on  the  high-road  from  Alexandria  to  W^arrentown 
tlij'ough  Centreville.  On  Julv  17  the  Confederate 
army  was  distributed  along  this  space,  seven  or  eight 
miles  in  extent,  a  brigade  being  posted  at  each  point 
of  passage  and  two  held  behind  in  reserve.  The  plan 
of  General  Scott,  who  commanded  the  Federal  army, 
was  to  turn  Beauregard's  right  flank,  to  seize  the 
railroads  in  rear  of  his  position,  and  defeat  him. 
It  was  important  that  he  should  not  be  assisted  by 


324  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  army  of  nine  thousand  men  commanded  by  Gen- 
eral Johnson  in  the  Shenandoah  Vallev,  and  Gen- 
eral  Patterson  had  been  told  off  to  prevent  this  junc- 
tion. Tlie  Federal  army  was  under  the  immediate 
command  of  General  McDowell,  and  the  number 
which  advanced  against  Beauregard  was  twenty- 
ei2:ht  thousand  infantrv  M'ith  fortv-nine  guns  and  a 
battalion  of  cavalrv. 

McDowell  reached  Bull  Run  on  July  IS,  and  the 
first  engagement  took  place  at  Blackburn's  Ford, 
Avhere  about  sixty  men  perished  on  either  side.  Find- 
ing that  Beauregard  was  stron2;lv  entrenched  to  his 
right,  McDowell  determined  to  attack  on  the  left 
wing;  he  also  wished  to  seize  a  point  on  the  Manas- 
sas Gap  railway,  which  would  prevent  the  junction 
of  Johnston  and  Beauregard.  Two  days  were  spent 
in  reconnoitring  and  searching  for  a  ford  higher  up 
the  stream.  Such  a  passage  was  discovered  called 
Sudlev's  Ford,  and  on  Sundav,  Julv  21,  the  Fed- 
eral  armv  advanced,  one  division  towards  Mitchell's 
Ford,  another  to  the  Stone  Bridge,  and  a  third  to 
the  newly-discovered  ford,  the  reserve  remaining  at 
Centreville.  McDowell  did  not  know  that  John- 
ston had  easily  evaded  Patterson,  and  Avith  part  of 
his  forces  had  joined  Beauregard  on  the  previous 
day. 

Two  of  the  brigades  of  the  Confederate  Keserve 
wTre  in  the  rear  of  the  right  and  the  right  centre  of 
their  line:  Jackson's  brigade, which  had  arrived  from 
Johnston's  army  the  night  before,  was  posted  in  rear 
of  the  central  at  Mitchell's  Ford ;  and  Bee's  brigade 
Avas  in  the  rear  of  Bell's  Ford,  between  Mitchell's 
Ford  and  Stone  Bridge.  Part  of  McDowell's  force 
marched  to  the  Stone  Brid2,e,  but  a  heavy  column 
turned  to  the  right  and  crossed  at  Sudley's  Ford, 


THE  BATTLE  OF  BULL  RUN.  325 

two  miles  and  a  half  further  up  the  streaDi.  The 
Federals  passed  the  ford  without  opposition,  but  were 
soon  met  by  the  Confederates,  arriving  from  Stone 
Bride-e.  The  rear  of  the  Federal  column  tried  to 
cross  at  Red  House  between  Stone  Bridge  and  Sud- 
ley's,  but  were  opposed  by  Bee's  reserve,  and  eventu- 
ally the  Federal  army,  driving  the  Confederates 
back,  took  up  a  position  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
stream. 

As  the  Confederate  line  fell  back  it  was  able  to 
reach  better  ground,  more  capable  of  defence,  and 
it  received  reinforcements  from  the  right ;  on  the 
other  hand,  the  Federal  army,  from  want  of  experi- 
ence, became  separated  and  fought  in  detachments. 
At  this  critical  moment  Kirby  Smith's  brigade,  num- 
bering five  thousand,  arrived  near  the  field,  brought 
by  th«  railway.  As  soon  as  they  detrained  they  went 
round  to  the  left  to  form  at  right  angles  to  the  Fed- 
eral right  and  fell  upon  them,  the  movement  being 
completed  at  about  4:  p.m.  The  Federals  broke  and 
fled  over  Bull  Run,  and  the  Confederate  reserves, 
crossing  the  river  at  McLean's  Ford  and  Union  Mills, 
oTithe  right,  advanced  upon  Centreville  and  threatened 
the  reserves  posted  there  and  the  line  of  retreat,  so 
that  the  retreat  l)ecame  a  rout  and  a  race  for  Wash- 
ington. Arms  and  accoutrements  were  thrown  away, 
drivers  of  army  waggons  cut  the  traces,  leapt  upon 
the  backs  of  horses  and  rode  through  the  crowd  of 
fugitives,  abandoning  gmns  and  trains.  The  loss  of 
the  Confederates  was  about  nineteen  hundred,  and 
that  of  the  Federals  about  fifteen  hundred  killed 
and  wounded,  and  as  many  more  taken  prisoners. 
The  Confederates  remained  in  possession  of  the 
battle-field  for  weeks. 

We  need  not  enter  upon  the  details  of  the  struggle 


326  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

which  took  place  for  the  co-operation  of  Missouri, 
Kentucky,  Maryland,  and  Tennessee.  Virginia  came 
to  be  divided  into  two  parts,  as  the  inhabitants  of 
the  mountainous  western  districts,  having  but  little 
interest  in  slavery  and  great  interest  in  iron,  coal, 
and  timber,  held  firm  to  the  Union.  In  consequence 
of  this  a  new  State  of  West  Virginia  was  formed 
and  admitted  into  the  Union  in  May,  1862.  France 
and  England  had  recognised  the  Confederates  as 
belligerents,  and  there  was  great  fear  of  their  also 
acknowledging  their  independence.  Indeed  England 
was  very  nearly  taking  the  side  of  the  South  from 
the  capture  by  the  Federals  of  Mason  and  Slidell, 
accredited  Ministers  from  the  South  to  London  and 
Paris,  while  on  board  the  Trent,  an  English  vessel. 
War  was  averted  by  the  inter^^ention  of  the  American 
Government  and  by  the  statesmanlike  advice  of  the 
Prince  Consort,  whose  participation  in  the  English 
Privv  Council  which  settled  this  matter  was  one  of 
his  last  public  acts  before  his  death. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SHILOH.  327 


CHAPTER  LI. 

THE  BATTLE   OF  SHILOH. 

One  of  the  first  actions  of  the  Federal  Govern- 
ment was  to  complete  the  blockade  of  the  Southern 
ports.  Vessels  could  at  all  times  pass  through,  but 
ijlockade-running  became  more  and  more  dangerous. 
At  the  same  time  in  the  battle  of  Paintville,  in  Ken- 
tucky, Colonel  James  A.  Garfield,  afterwards  Presi- 
dent, with  eighteen  hundred  infantry  and  three  hun- 
dred cavalry,  drove  Humphry  Marshall  out  of  that 
town,  although  he  was  in  command  of  a  much  larger 
force;  a  stubborn  battle  also  took  place  at  Mill 
Springs,  in  which  the  Federals  lost  246  and  the  Con- 
federates 471.  Another  important  action  was  the 
capture  of  Fort  Henry,  on  the  Tennessee  Piver,  in 
January,  1862,  and  that  of  Fort  Donelson  on  the 
Cumberland,  both  these  being  effected  by  General 
Grant,  one  of  the  most  celebrated  of  the  American 
Presidents.  Buckner,  who  commanded  Fort  Donel- 
son, asked  for  terms  of  capitulation,  but  Grant  re- 
plied :  "  1^0  terms  other  ihun  an  unconditional  and 
immediate  surrender  can  be  accepted.  I  propose  to 
move  immediately  upon  your  works."  Buckner  at 
once  surrendered  the  fort  with  the  garrison  of  four- 
teen thousand  men.  These  successes  formed  the 
foundation  of  Grant's  reputation. 

The  city  of  E"ew  Orleans  was  by  far -the  largest 
and  richest  in  the  Confederacv;  and  its  strategic 
value  in  the  war  was  greater  than  that  of  any  other 


328  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

point  ill  the  Southern  States.  Its  possession  bv  the 
Federals  would  cut  the  Confederacy  in  two,  and 
make  it  difficult  to  bring  supplies  from  Texas  and 
Arkansas  to  feed  the  armies  in  Tennessee  and  Vir- 
ginia. Xew  Orleans  was  defended  towards  the  sea 
by  two  forts,  St.  Philip  and  Fort  Jackson,  now  gar- 
risoned by  tifteen  hundred  Confederate  soldiers. 
There  was  also  a  fleet  of  fifteen  vessels,  including  an 
iron  ram  and  a  large  floating  battery,  and  below  the 
fort  a  heavy  chain  was  hung  across  the  river.  A 
large  fleet  was  fitted  out  under  the  command  of 
Captain  Farragut,  then  about  sixty  years  of  age. 
lie  was  a  Southerner  by  birth,  but  from  conscien- 
tious reasons  took  the  side  of  the  Korth.  A  bom- 
bardment was  opened  on  April  18  and  continued  for 
six  diiys  and  six  nights.  Six  thousand  shells  fell  in 
and  around  the  forts,  a  shell  falling  about  every 
minute  and  a  half,  but  the  forts  were  not  rendered 
untenable  nor  were  their  guns  silenced;  not  more 
than  fifty  nien  were  killed  and  wounded  inside  the 
forts. 

In  the  meantime  the  Confederates  prepared  fire- 
ships,  fl.at-bottomed  boats  loaded  with  dry  wood  satu- 
rated with  tar  and  turpentine,  which  they  set  fire  to 
and  sent  down  the  stream.  Farragut,  however,  inter- 
cepted them  and  got  rid  of  them  without  suffering 
damage.  Farragut  now  formed  the  plan  of  running 
by  the  forts,  destroying  and  capturing  the  Confed- 
erate fleets  and  bringing  the  city  wdthin  range  of 
his  guns.  He  started  at  3.30  a.m.  on  April  24,  just 
before  the  sun  rose,  an  opening  having  been  made  in 
the  chain  to  let  him  through.  After  passing  the  forts 
he  found  himself  ene-aced  with  eleven  American 
vessels.  The  details  of  the  battle  need  not  detain 
us.     ]^ew  Orleans  was  captured  and  in  a  few  days 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SHILOH.  329 

both  Forts  Jackson  and  St.  Philip  surrendered.  This 
victory  was  of  the  greatest  importance  and  it  set  the 
name  of  Farragut  beside  that  of  Grant. 

On  April  7,  1862,  was  fought  one  of  the  bloodiest 
battles  of  the  war,  that  of  Shiloh,  called  after  a  little 
log  church  in  the  south-west  of  Tennessee.  The 
Memphis  and  Charleston  railway  crosses  the  Mobile 
and  Ohio  railway  at  Corinth  in  northern  Mississippi, 
vvhich,  being  at  that  time  a  point  of  great  strategic 
importance,  was  fortified  and  held  by  a  large  Con- 
federate force  commanded  b\  General  Albert  Sidney 
Johnston.  General  Grant  with  forty  thousand  men 
under  his  command  advanced  to  capture  Corinth,  ex- 
pecting to  be  joined  by  reinforcements  from  Xash- 
ville  of  equal  number.  On  April  6  Grant's  main 
force  was  at  Pittsburg  Landing,  on  the  west  bank 
of  the  broad  Tennessee  River,  about  twenty  miles 
north  of  Corinth,  and  a  subordinate  force  was  at 
Crump's  Landing,  five  miles  further  north ;  the  army 
from  Xashville  had  just  reached  the  shore  opposite 
the  Landings.  On  that  morning  Grant  was  suddenly 
attacked  by  Johnston,  his  line  being  about  two  miles 
long  between  Lick  Creek  and  Owl  Creek.  The 
ground  was  undulating,  and  on  a  ridge  stood  Shiloh 
church,  which  was  an  important  point  in  the  battle- 
field. Grant,  on  hearing  the  firing,  hurried  up  to  the 
scene  of  action.  He  had  expected  to  be  attacked  at 
Crump's  Landing,  and  now  ordered  the  troops  posted 
there  to  march  towards  Shiloh,  but  they  did  not 
arrive  till  after  dark,  nor  did  any  of  the  Xashville 
army  cross  the  river  till  the  evening.  The  attack  was 
extremely  violent,  but  the  Federal  troops  held  their 
ground;  at  least  they  never  surrendered  the  road 
and  the  bridge  by  which  the  troops  from  Crump's 
Landing  would  advance.     Grant  described  one  part 


330  WAKS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  the  field  in  tliese  words :  "  It  was  so  covered  with 
dead  that  it  would  have  been  possible  to  walk  across 
the  clearing  in  any  direction,  stepping  on  dead 
bodies,  without  a  foot  touching  the  ground.  On  one 
side  jSTational  and  Confederate  troops  were  min- 
gled together  in  nearly  equal  proportions,  but  on  the 
remainder  of  the  lield  nearly  all  were  Confederates. 
On  one  part  which  had  evidently  not  been  ploughed 
for  several  years,  bushes  had  grown  up,  some  to  the 
height  of  eight  or  ten  feet.  ISTot  one  of  them  was 
left  standing  unpierced  by  bullets.  The  smaller 
ones  were  all  cut  down."  In  the  battle  General 
Sherman  greatly  distinguished  himself;  one  bullet 
struck  him  in  the  hand,  another  grazed  his  shoulder, 
another  went  through  his  boot,  and  several  horses 
were  killed  under  him.  At  about  2.30  p.m.  General 
Johnston  was  struck  in  the  leg  by  a  rifle-ball,  and  re- 
fusing to  leave  the  field,  bled  to  death.  The  command 
devolved  upon  General  Beauregard.  Beauregard 
discontinued  the  attack  at  nightfall,  intending  to 
renew  it  and  finish  the  victory  in  the  morning. 

During  the  night  the  troops  from  ISrashville,  com- 
manded by  General  Buell,  crossed  the  river,  and 
at  daylight  Grant  resumed  the  offensive.  Beauregard 
must  have  known  that  resistance  was  hopeless,  but 
he  did  his  best  to  hold  the  road  which  passes  by 
Shiloh  church,  in  order  to  secure  his  retreat.  Sher- 
man advanced  and  recaptured  his  camp,  which  had 
been  taken  by  the  eneni}^  on  the  previous  day.  Shiloh 
church  was  the  centre  round  which  the  battle  raged 
with  the  greatest  fury.  At  last  Beauregard  withdrew 
liis  army,  leaving  his  dead  on  the  field ;  there  was  no 
attempt  at  pursuit.  The  total  losses  on  the  Federal 
side  were  10,699,  and  those  on  the  side  of  the  Con- 
federates must  have  been  much  larger.     After  the 


THE  BATTLE  OF  SHILOH.  331 

battle  General  Halleck  laid  siege  to  Corinth,  which 
was  defended  by  Beauregard,  and  it  was  not  evacu- 
ated till  May  29.  By  some  the  battle  of  Shiloh  is 
considered  to  be  the  critical  struggle  of  the  Con- 
federacy, as  it  opened  the  way  for  the  Federals  to  the 
sea.  There  was  nothing  now  to  prevent  an  army 
from  marching  to  the  rear  and  cutting  off  the  sup- 
plies of  the  troops  that  held  Richmond  and  compel 
their  surrender.  vSome  partisans  of  the  South  are 
of  opinion  that  if  General  Johnston  had  lived  the 
result  of  the  war  might  have  been  different. 


332       *  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  LII. 

RICHMOND POPE   AND   LEE. 

After  the  disastrous  battlo  of  Bull  Run  the  Fed- 
eral administration  summoned  General  ^EcClellau  to 
Washington  with  the  duty  of  fortifying  the  capital 
and  organising  the  army.  He  took  command  of 
tifty  thousand  men  \vithout  uniforms,  and  in  three 
months  was  at  the  head  of  an  army  of  more  than 
one  hundred  thousand,  fully  organised,  equipped  and 
furnished  with  every  necessary.  On  November  1 
General  Scott  retired  and  McClellan  succeeded  him 
as  General-in-Chief  of  all  the  armies.  For  reasons 
which  may  have  been  good,  but  which  were  much 
censured  at  the  time,  McC^lellan  made  no  movement 
till  the  middle  of  March,  when  he  marched  to  Monroe 
and  proceeded  to  attack  Yorktown,  the  place  where 
Cornwallis  had  surrendered  eighty  years  before. 
Here  he  remained  for  a  month,  and  when  he  was  at 
last  ready  to  open  fire  with  his  siege  guns,  he  found 
that  the  enemy  had  departed,  leaving  dummy  guns 
in  the  embrasures. 

He  followed  the  Confederate  army  and  came  up 
with  it  at  Williamsburg,  about  twelve  miles  distant, 
and  a  battle  took  place  on  May  5.  After  a  stubborn 
engagement  the  Confederates  retired,  the  Federal 
loss  having  been  about  twenty-two  hundred  and  the 
Confederate  about  eighteen  hundred.  Another  battle 
was  fought  at  Fair  Oaks  on  May  31,  which  cost  the 


RICHMOND— POPE  AND  LEE.  333 

Federals  over  five  thousand  men  and  the  Confede- 
rates nearly  seven  thousand.  After  this,  heavy  rain 
prevented  both  armies  from  making  any  serious 
movcm.ent  on  Richmond.  At  the  beginning  of  June 
the  command  of  the  Confederate  army  in  Virginia 
devolved  upon  General  Robert  E.  Lee,  a  position 
which  he  held  till  the  close  of  the  war.  He  adopted 
the  plan  of  bringing  large  bodies  of  troops  from 
!N^orth  Carolina,  Georgia,  and  the  Shenandoah  Val- 
ley, so  as  to  form  a  massive  army  and  fall  upon 
McClellan.  The  number  of  fighting  men  under 
him  was  estimated  at  80,760,  but  his  total  effective 
force  drawing  pay  was  92,500. 

Lee's  ablest  lieutenant  was  "  Stonewall  "  Jackson, 
so  called  from  an  incident  in  the  battle  of  Bull  Run, 
when  General  Bee,  of  South  Carolina,  who  was  killed 
later  in  the  day,  rallied  his  wavering  men  by  appeal- 
ing to  them  to  follow  the  example  of  Jackson's 
brigade,  "  standing  there  like  a  stone  wall."  He 
moved  very  swiftly  and  astonished  his  adversaries 
by  his  marvellous  rapidity  and  his  appearance  in 
unexpected  places. 

The  beautiful  valley  of  the  Shenandoah,  which  lies 
between  the  Blue  and  the  Alleghany  Mountains,  was 
favourable  to  an  army  tlireatening  Washington  and 
unfavourable  to  one  advancing  on  Richmond.  The 
Confederates  as  they  marched  down  the  vallev  came 
at  every  step  nearer  to  the  Federal  capital,  whereas 
a  Federal  army  marching  up  the  valley  w^as  grad- 
ually carried  to  a  further  distance  from  Richmond. 
Lee  now  began  to  make  preparations  for  driving 
llcClellan  from  the  peninsula,  and  wrote  to  Jack- 
son that  unless  McClellan  could  be  driven  out  of 
his  entrenchments  he  would  come  so  near  to  Rich- 
mond that  he  could  bombard  it.       All  pains  were 


33-4  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

taken  to  conceal   from  the   Federals  the  fact  that 
Jackson's  armv  was  to  be  joined  to  Lee's. 

There  now  ensued  the  seven  days'  battle  of  Rich- 
mond (June  26 — July  3),  which  ended  in  the  re- 
treat of  McClellan.  On  June  25  McClellan  had  ad- 
vanced liis  outposts  to  w^ithiu  four  miles  from  Rich- 
mond. But  before  this,  Lee,  leaving  about  thirty 
tkousand  men  to  defend  Richmond,  crossed  the 
Chickahominy  with  about  tliirty-five  thousand,  in- 
tending to  join  Jackson's  twenty-five  thousand,  and 
with  this  overwhelming  force  to  make  a  sud- 
den attack  on  the  twenty  thousand  Federals 
who  were  posted  on  the  north  side  of  the 
river,  and  destroying  them  before  help  could 
reach  them  to  seize  McClellan's  base.  The  in- 
habitants of  Richmond  Avere  expecting  that  the  city 
would  be  taken,  and  consequently  the  archives  of 
the  Confederate  Government  were  packed.  Jackson, 
for  once  in  his  life,  was  late,  and  all  that  the  Con- 
federates could  do  was  to  drive  a  Federal  force  out 
of  Mechanicsville  and  attack  McColl's  strong  posi- 
tion on  Beaver  Do^vn  Creek.  In  this  they  lost 
three  thousand  men,  whereas  McColl  maintained  his 
j)osition  and  only  lost  three  hundred. 

The  next  day  followed  the  battle  of  Gaines  ]\rills, 
in  which  General  Porter  had  eighteen  thousand  in- 
fantry, twenty-five  hundred  artillery,  and  a  small 
force  of  cavalry,  to  meet  tlie  attack  of  at  least  fifty- 
five  thousand.  The  fighting  began  about  two  o'clock 
in  the  afternoon,  and  was  at  first  in  favour  of  the 
Federals;  but  after  Jackson's  arrival  a  more  vigor- 
ous assault  was  made;  the  Federal  li-'ie  w^as  broken 
at  the  left  centre  and  the  whole  gave  way  and  slowly 
retired.  Two  Federal  regiments  were  made  prisoners 
and  two  guns  were  captured.       This  battle  is  also 


RICHMOND— POPE  AND  LEE.  335 

called  the  battle  of  Chickahominy,  or  the  first  battle 
of  Cold  Harbour.  McClellan  now  changed  his  base 
from  the  Chickahominy  to  the  James  River,  where 
it  wiis  attacked  by  General  Magruder,  who  had  been 
left  behind  to  defend  Richmond,  first  at  Allen's  Farm 
and  then  at  Savage's  Station.  However,  the  attack 
failed  and  he  suffered  severely,  the  Federal  generals 
being  able  to  defend  the  road  which  leads  through 
White  Oak  Swamp. 

Jackson  now  crossed  th^  Chickahominy  and  at- 
tejnpted  to  follow  McClellnn's  rear-guard  through 
White  Oak  Swamp,  but  was  unable  to  do  so.  Hill 
and  Longstreet,  however,  had  crossed  the  river  fur- 
ther up  the  stream  and  marched  round  the  swamp, 
striking  the  retreating  army  near  Charles  City  Cross 
Roads  on  June  30.  There  was  terrific  fighting  all 
the  afternoon,  but  the  Federals  held  their  ground. 
General  McColl,  how^ever,  was  captured  and  carried 
off  to  Richmond.  Darkness  put  an  end  to  the  fight- 
ing, and  McClellan  retreated  to  Malvern  Hill. 
This  battle  is  now  generally  called  by  the 
name  of  Frazier's  Farm.  McClellan  lost  ten  guns, 
and  the  other  losses  must  have  been  very  severe. 

The  last  battle  of  this  series  was  fought  at  Mal- 
vern Hill,  where  McClellan  made  his  final  stand. 
It  is  a  plateau  on  the  side  of  the  James  River,  about 
eighty  feet  high,  a  mile  and  a  half  long  and  a  mile 
broad.  It  is  only  approachable  by  its  north-western 
face.  McGlellan's  army  was  arranged  in  a  semicircle 
with  his  right  wing  thrown  back  so  as  to  reach  Hax- 
all's  Landing  on  the  James  River.  His  position  was 
strongly  defended  by  artillery.  Lee  was  not  in  a 
position  to  make  the  assault  till  Juh'  1.  It  began 
with  an  artillery  duel,  which  was  not  very  effective 
on  the  Confederate  side.     The  infantry  attack  was 


336  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

made  with  too  little  regard  to  concentration,  and 
broke  up  into  a  number  of  separate  charges;  and 
although  fighting  was  kept  up  till  9  p.m.,  the  line 
Avas  never  broken  nor  were  the  guns  in  danger.  The 
battle  cost  Lee  five  thousand  men,  and  after  it  he  de- 
sisted from  the  pursuit.  McClellan  was  able  in  the 
night  to  retire  to  Harrison's  Landing  on  the  James 
River,  where  he  was  protected  by  gunboats,  and  where 
he  collected  his  supplies.  The  losses  during  those 
seven  days'  fighting  are  estimated  at  15,249  on  the 
Federal  and  over  19,000  on  the  Confederate  side. 

The  troops  of  Sigel,  Fremont,  Banks,  and  Mc- 
Dowell were  now  united  in  an  armv  under  General 
Po])e,  whose  instructions  were  to  advance  southwards 
on  Gordonville  and  take  the  pressure  off  McClellan 
with  a  force  of  thirty-eight  thousand  men.  It  was 
soon  found  that  these  two  commanders  could  not 
act  in  harmony  together,  and  the  President  sum- 
moned General  Halleck,  the  Avell-known  writer  on 
International  Law,  to  Washhigton  to  command  them 
both, but  his  abilities  were  better  suited  for  the  studv 
than  foi'  the  field.  Pope's  object  in  marching  to 
Gordonville  was  to  cut  off  Lee's  connection  with  the 
Shenandoah  Vallev.  On  Julv  18  he  got  as  far  as 
Orange  Court  House,  but,  being  opposed  by  Confed- 
erate troops,  he  halted.  In  the  meantime  McClellan 
had  been  fortifying  his  position  on  the  James,  and 
was  meditating  another  advance  bv  that  river  on 
Kichmond,  which  was  still  covered  by  the  main  Con- 
federate armv.  On  August  5  Jackson's  force,  which 
had  been  detached  by  Lee,  approached  Pope's  front. 
On  August  8  he  crossed  the  Papidan  and  moved 
towards  Culpeper,  where  Pope  attempted  to  concen- 
trate the  corps  of  Banks  and  Sigel.  On  July  9 
Banks  engaged  Jackson  at  Cedar  Mountain,  but  was 


RICHMOND— POPE  AND  LEE.  337 

not  supported  bj  Sigel.  He  first  struck  the  right 
wing,  then  furiously  attacked  the  left,  opened  fire  ia 
the  rear  and  threw  the  whole  of  Jackson's  line  into 
confusion.  But  the  Confederates  were  much  stronger, 
and  Banks  was  not  able  to  7naintain  his  advantage, 
and  both  armies  fell  back,  Jackson  with  the  loss  of 
thirteen  hundred  men  and  Banks  with  a  loss  of 
eighteen  hundred. 

On  August  17  Lee,  setting  out  for  Richmond,  ar- 
rived on  the  Rapidan.  McClellan  in  the  meantime 
Avas  leaving  the  Peninsula  and  embarking  his  troops 
for  Alexandria.  Lee  and  Ji,^ckson  had  now  together 
a  force  of  seventy  thousand  men,  and  Pope,  who  had 
only  fifty  thousand,  retired  beyond  the  Rappahan- 
nock. 

On  August  25  Jackson  with  a  body  of  eighteen 
thousand  men  moved  up  the  Rappahannock,  and 
then  along  the  eastern  slope  of  the  Blue  Ridge  by 
Orleans  and  Salem,  covered  by  the  hills  of  Bull 
Run.  Having  completed  his  circle  round  Pope's 
right,  he  passed  through  Thoroughfare  Gap,  on  the 
Bull  Run  Mountains,  on  July  26,  and  destroyed 
Bristol  Station  on  the  Orange  and  Alexandria  rail- 
road in  the  rear  of  the  Federals.  Pope,  thus  threat- 
ened, advanced  by  the  Worcester  Road  and  the  rail- 
way upon  Jackson  to  clear  the  line  to  Alexandria, 
but  at  his  approach  Jackson  retired  along  the  rail- 
way to  Manassas  Junction,  where  he  took  a  large 
number  of  prisoners  and  commissariat  stores. 

Pope  was  now  reinforced  by  two  of  McClellan's 
brigades  from  Alexandria,  and  on  July  27  he  sent 
McDowell  with  forty  thousand  men  towards  Thor- 
oughfare Gap  to  occupy  the  road  by  which  Lee  with 
Longstreet's  division  was  marching  to  join  Jackson, 
and  at  the  same  time  moved  with  the  remainder  of  his 
22 


338  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

army  to  fall  upon  Jackson  at  Bristol  Station.  Here 
his  advance-guard  bad  an  engagement  with  Jack- 
son's rear-guard,  while  the  main  body  of  Jackson's 
army  retired  to  Manassas  Junction.  On  July  28 
Pope  ordered  McDowell  to  make  a  retrograde  move- 
ment, saying,  "  If  you  will  march  promptly  and 
rapidly  at  the  earliest  dawn  upon  Manassas  Junc- 
tion we  shall  bag  the  whole  crowd."  This  gave  an 
opportunity  for  Jackson  to  march  to  meet  Lee,  and 
he  placed  himself  on  the  high  ground  near  Grove- 
ton,  near  the  battle-field  of  Bull  Run.  Here  a 
division  of  McDowell's  army  came  into  contact  with 
him,  and  a  battle  ensued  wiih  severe  loss  on  either 
side.  Jackson  was  now  in  possession  of  the  Wor- 
cester turnpike,  the  road  by  which  Longstreet  was  to 
join  him.  Here  on  July  29  took  place  an  indecisive 
action  which  is  called  the  battle  of  Groveton. 

On  the  following  day  Lee's  army,  having  defiled 
through  Thoroughfare  Gap,  formed  line  on  Jackson's 
right,  reaching  beyond  Pope's  left,  while  Pope 
formed  his  right  wing  obliquely  across  the  Alexan- 
dria Road  at  Centreville,  Lee  attacked  Pope  and 
defeated  him  with  heavy  lo?:^.,  thus  gaining  what  is 
called  the  Second  Battle  of  Bull  Run.  After  dark 
Pope's  army  crossed  the  Stone  Bridge  near  Bull  Run 
and  encamped  upon  the  heights  round  Centreville. 
At  the  same  time  two  other  corps  of  McClellan's 
army,  numbering  twenty  thousand  men,  under  Gen- 
erals Sumner  and  Franklin,  joined  Pope,  and  the 
whole  army  fell  back  still  further,  taking  up  a  posi- 
tion round  Fairfax  Court  House  and  Germanto-wn. 
Lee  now  ordered  Jackson  to  make  a  flank  march, 
with  a  view  of  striking  Pope's  right  and  attempting 
to  interrupt  his  communications  with  Washington, 
and  on  the  evening  of  September  1  he  fell  heavily  on 


■'! 


RICHMOND— POPE  AND  LEE.  339 

Pope's  flank,  who  resumed  his  retreat,  till  at  last  on 
September  2  Halleck  ordered  him  to  withdraw  to  the 
fortifications  of  Washington,  where  his  army  was 
merged  with  that  of  the  Potomac.  The  exact  losses 
in  this  campaign  are  not  known.  Lee  claimed  that 
he  had  captured  nine  thousand  j)visoners  and  thirty 
guns,  and  it  is  probable  that  Pope's  killed  and 
wounded  did  not  fall  short  of  ten  thousand  men. 

After  the  retirement  of  Pope's  army  to  the  de- 
fences of  Washington,  General  Lee  pushed  north- 
ward into  Maryland  with  his  whole  force.  He 
reached  Frederick,  on  a  level  with  Baltimore,  on  Sep- 
tember 8,  and  issued  a  proclamation  urging  the  people 
of  Maryland  to  join  the  Confederation ;  but  the  ap- 
peal was  without  result ;  indeed  all  the  Marylanders 
who  intended  to  join  the  South  had  done  so  already. 
The  President  now  called  upon  General  McClellan 
and  asked  him  to  take  command  of  the  army  of  the 
Potomac,  in  which  Pope's  army  had  been  merged. 
As  soon  as  he  heard  of  the  invasion  of  Marvland 
McClellan  marched  his  army  to  the  N^orth,  to  cover 
Washington  and  Baltimore,  and,  if  jDossible,  to  fight 
a  decisive  battle.  He  arrived  at  Frederick  on  Sep- 
tember 12,  Lee's  army  having  left  the  town  two  days 
before.  Here  also  he  was  fortunate  enough  to  find 
a  sketch  of  the  campaign  which  Lee  had  carefully 
prepared.  Jackson  was  to  cross  the  Potomac,  cap- 
ture the  Federal  force  at  Martinsburg,  and  to  assist 
in  the  attack  upon  the  troops  at  Harper's  Ferry; 
McLaws  was  to  march  to  Harper's  Ferry  and  take 
it ;  Walker  was  to  approach  from  the  other  side  and 
assist  McLaws;  Hill's  divison  was  to  form  the  rear- 
guard. After  these  operations  all  the  forces  were 
to  unite  together  again  at  Hagerstown. 

On  the  approach  of  Jackson's  corps  General  White 


340  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

evacuated  Martinsburg,  and  joined  Miles  at  Harper's 
Ferry  with  two  thousand  men.  The  place  was 
speedily  taken  and  about  eleven  thousand  men  were 
included  in  the  capitulation,  with  seventy-three  guns 
and  much  camp  equipage.  Jackson  now  hurried  on 
to  join  Lee  and  reached  Sliarpsburg  on  the  morning 
of  September  16.  McClellan  on  the  other  hand, 
being  cognisant  of  Lee's  plans,  endeavoured  to  thwart 
them  to  the  best  of  his  ability.  ISTorth  of  the  Poto- 
mac, opposite  Harper's  Ferry,  runs  a  range  of  hills, 
about  one  thousand  feet  high,  and  kno\\ai  as  the  South 
Mountains.  They  are  crossed  by  two  passes,  Cramp- 
ton's  Gap  to  the  south,  and  Turner's  Gap  to  the 
north.  The  general  ordered  Franklin's  corps  to 
pass  through  Crampton's  Gap,  to  relieve  Harper's 
Ferry,  and  Burnside's  troops  to  cross  Turner's  Gap. 
He  did  not  arrive  at  these  Gaps  till  September  14, 
when  Lee  had  taken  measures  for  their  defence.  The 
actions  which  ensued  are  called  the  battle  of  South 
Mountain,  fought  on  September  14,  18G2,  and  the 
result  of  it  was  doubtful.  McClellan  held  the  passes, 
but  Lee  had  delayed  the  advance  of  the  enemy. 

Three  davs  later,  followed  the  battle  of  Antietam. 
Lee  had  his  army  concentrated,  but  it  did  not  num- 
ber more  than  forty  thousand  men,  as  it  had  been 
much  diminished  by  stragglers.  He  occupied  a 
strong  position,  both  wings  resting  on  the  Potomac, 
and  the  Antietam  Creek  flowing  in  front.  The 
Creek  was  passed  by  four  stone  bridges  and  a  ford,- 
and  all,  except  the  northernmost  bridge,  were  strongly 
guarded.  Mc(^lellan  determined  to  throw  his  right 
wing  across  tlie  unguarded  bridge,  ajid  assail  the 
Confederate  left,  and  Avhen  this  had  succeeded  to 
force  the  remainine;  brido-es  wnth  his  loft  and  centre. 
This  movement  was  begun  on  the  afternoon  of  Sep- 


RICHMOND— POPE  AND  LEE.  34I 

tember  16,  and  the  bridj^'e  was  crossed  by  Hooker. 
The  next  morning  Hooker's  advance  was  violently 
opposed  by  Jackson,  and  the  struggle  between  the 
Federal  right  and  the  Confederate  left  went  on 
dnring  the  whole  day  without  any  decisive  result. 
About  1  P.M.  Burnside  carried  the  bridge  opposite  to 
him  and  attacked  the  Confederate  right,  and  two 
hours  later  he  had  made  himself  master  of  the  ridge 
commanding  Sharpsburg  and  had  captured  the  Con- 
federate battery  there.  Lee,  however,  came  up  with 
fresh  forces,  drove  Burnside  from  his  position  and 
re-took  the  battery.  The  battle  of  Antietam  is  gen- 
erally regarded  as  a  decisive  victory  for  McClellan, 
but  Mr.  Rossiter  Johnston,  whose  authority  has  been 
])rincipally  followed  in  this  narrative,  says  that  the 
battle  ended,  not  because  the  day  was  closed,  or  be- 
cause any  apparent  victory  liad  been  achieved,  but 
because  both  sides  had  suffered  so  severely  that 
neither  was  inclined  to  resume  the  struggle.  He  is 
of  opinion  that  the  Confederate  army  ought  to  have 
been  annihilated  or  captured,  and  that  while  every 
man  of  Lee's  force  had  been  actively  engaged,  not 
more  than  two-thirds  of  McClellan's  were  in  action. 
]\Iaking  the  attack  in  driblets  had  neutralised  the 
advantage  which  McClellan  had  of  being  double  his 
adversary  in  numbers.  McClellan  reported  his  en- 
tire loss  at  12,469,  of  Avhom  2,010  were  killed,  and 
2,700  Confederate  corpses  were  counted  and  buried 
upon  the  battle-field. 

After  the  battle  of  Antietam  Lee  withdrew  to  Win- 
chester, and  at  the  end  of  a  month  found  himself 
at  the  head  of  sixty-eight  thousand  men;  while  Mc- 
Clellan took  uj)  his  quarters  on  the  Potomac.  Here,  at 
the  beginning  of  October,  he  was  visited  by  the  Presi- 
dent^who  ordered  him  to  cross  the  river, give  battle  to 


342  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  enemy,  or  drive  him  south.  He  went  on  to  sav : 
"  Your  ariuv  must  move  now  while  the  roads  are 
"•nod.  If  vou  cross  the  river  between  the  enemv  and 
Washington,  and  cover  the  litter  by  your  operations, 
you  can  be  reinforced  with  thirty  thousand  men." 
jMcClellan,  however,  remained  inactive,  alleging  that 
his  army  was  in  want  of  shoes  and  clothing. 

At  last  on  October  2G,  1862,  McClellan  crossed  the 
Potomac,  leaving  a  corps  at  Harper's  Ferry  and 
marching  southward  on  the  eastern  side  of  the  Blue 
Ridge,  while  Lee  moved  parallel  to  him  on  the  west- 
ern side. 

On  j^ovember  7  the  President,  losing  patience, 
relieved  him  of  his  command  and  sent  up  General 
Ambrose  E.  Burnside  in  his  place.  At  this  time  the 
right  wing  of  Lee's  army,  under  Longstreet,  was  at 
Culpeper,  and  the  left  wing  under  Jackson  was  in 
the  Shenandoah  Valley,  being  distant  from  each  other 
about  two  days'  march.  McClellan  said  that  he  in- 
tended either  to  get  between  them  and  to  beat  them 
separately,  or  to  prevent  their  union  further  north 
than  Gordonville.  Burnside,  on  the  other  hand, 
after  reorganising  his  army  into  three  great  divisions, 
under  Sumner,  Hooker,  and  Franklin,  aimed  directly 
at  the  city  of  Richmond  and  set  out  for  that  place 
by  way  of  the  north  bank  of  the  Rappahannock  and 
the  city  of  Fredericksburg.  He  left  Worcester  on 
jSToveraber  15,  and  by  i^ovember  20  had  collected  his 
whole  army  at  Falmouth. 

Lee  immediately  marched  to  cover  the  Confederate 
capital  and  placed  his  army  on  the  heights  south  and 
west  of  Fredericksburg,  which  he  began  to  fortify. 
His  line  was  five  miles  and  a  half  long  and  very 
strongly  defended.  Lee  could  not  prevent  Burn- 
side from  crossing  the  river,  because  the  left  bank  is 


tllCHMOND— POPE  AND  LEE.  343 

commanded  bv  heights  on  which  Burnside  had  placed 
147  gims.  ISTot  imtil  December  10  was  Burnside 
ready  to  cross  the  Rappahannock.  His  plan  was  to 
lay  down  five  bridges,  three  opposite  the  city,  and 
two  some  distance  below,  the  workmen  being  pro- 
tected bv  artillery.  He  began  to  lay  the  pontoons  in 
the  early  morning  of  December  11,  when  the  river 
was  concealed  by  a  thick  fog;  but  before  the  work  was 
half  completed  the  fog  lifted  and  revealed  the  opera- 
tions to  the  enemy.  Lee  had  posted  his  riflemen  in 
the  streets  and  houses  of  Fredericksburg  in  such  a 
way  that  the  engineers  had  found  it  impossible  to 
carry  on  the  work  owing  to  their  heavy  losses.  Mean- 
while the  two  lower  bridges  were  completed  by  noon. 
Burnside,  unable  to  complete  his  bridges,  bombarded 
the  town  and  set  it  on  fire,  but  the  attack  of  the 
sharpshooters  on  the  engineers  still  continued.  At 
last  three  regiments,  who  volunteered  for  the  service, 
crossed  the  river  in  pontoon  boats,  and  drove  the  rifle- 
men out  of  their  hiding-places,  capturing  a  hundred 
of  them.  The  bridges  were  then  completed  and  the 
crossing  was  begun,  but  the  entire  army  was  not  on 
the  Fredericksburg  side  of  the  river  till  the  evening 
of  December  12. 

The  attack  upon  the  heights  held  by  Lee  was  un- 
dertaken on  the  following  morning.  Here  the  whole 
of  the  Confederate  army  was  concentrated.  Long- 
street  being  on  the  left,  and  Jackson  on  the  right, 
with  every  gun  in  position.  The  weak  point  of  the  line 
was  on  the  right  where  the  elevation  of  the  heights 
was  not  so  great,  and  here  the  principal  attack  ought 
to  have  been  made ;  but  Burnside  weakened  his  forces 
in  this  spot,  and  when  his  advancing  troops  had 
pierced  the  Confederate  line  and  taken  many  pris- 
oners, they  came  face  to  face  with  the  second  line  of 


Stttt  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

the  enemy  and  were  driven  back.  Other  columns 
fared  even  worse.  In  one  place  there  was  a  broken 
road,  and  the  Confederates  Avere  here  so  nnmerons 
that  each  man  posted  at  the  stone  wall,  which  flanked 
the  road,  had  two  or  ihree  men  behind  him  to  load 
his  muskets,  and  all  he  had  to  do  was  to  lay  them  in 
turn  upon  the  wall  and  fire  them  rapidly  without 
exposing  himself.  At  this  point  nearly  half  the  at- 
tacking force  was  shot  down,  and  the  remainder  fell 
back.  The  other  divisions  did  not  fare  much  better. 
Burnside  was  beside  himself  with  wrath  at  this 
continued  ill-success,  and  he  ordered  Hooker  to  ad- 
vance with  the  reserve ;  but  that  general  assured  him 
that  the  attempt  was  useless.  Upon  the  commander 
insisting,  four  thousand  troops  rushed  forward  with 
fixed  bavonets,  but  soon  returned  with  the  loss  of 
seventeen  hundred  dead  or  vrounded.  The  Federal 
loss  in  this  fearful  struggle  was  12,353  killed,  wound- 
ed, or  missing,  although  some  of  the  missing  after- 
wards regained  their  colours.  The  Confederate 
loss  was  5,309.  Burnside  was  anxious  to  make  a 
further  attempt  next  day,  but  he  was  dissuaded  by 
General  Sumner.  During  the  night  of  December  15, 
in  the  midst  of  a  storm,  the  army  crossed  to  the  right 
bank  of  the  Rappahannock,  and  the  campaign  was  at 
an  end.  As  a  memorial  of  this  fight  the  great  Xa- 
tional  Cemetery  on  Mavne'p  Hill  contains  fifteen 
thousand  graves. 


HOOKER  AND  LEE.  345 


CHAPTER  LIII. 


HOOKER       AND       LEE. 


General  Burnside  was  superseded  after  his  de- 
feat at  Fredericksburg-,  and  on  January  25,  1863, 
General  Joseph  Hooker  was  given  the  command  of 
the  army  of  the  Potomac  in  his  phice.  On  this 
occasion  President  Lincoln  wrote  to  him  in  the  fol- 
lowing terms :  "  1  have  placed  you  at  the  head  of  the 
armj^  of  the  Potomac.  Of  course  I  have  done  this 
upon  what  appear  to  me  sufficient  reasons,  and  yet  I 
think  it  best  for  you  to  know  that  there  are  some 
things  in  regard  to  which  I  am  not  quite  satisfied 
with  you.  I  believe  you  to  be  a  brave  and  skilful 
soldier,  which  of  course  I  like.  I  also  believe  you  do 
not  mix  politics  with  your  profession,  in  which  you 
are  right.  You  have  contidence  in  yourself,  which 
is  a  valuable  if  not  indispensable  quality.  You  are 
ambitious,  which,  within  reasonable  bounds,  dues 
rather  good  than  harm;  but  I  think  that  during 
General  Burnside's  command  of  the  army  you  have 
taken  counsel  of  your  ambition,  and  thwarted  him  as 
:nucli  as  you  could,  in  which  you  did  a  great  w^rong  to 
the  country  and  to  a  most  meritorious  and  honorable 
brotherofficer.  I  have  heard,  in  such  a  way  as  to  believe 
it,  of  your  recently  saying  that  both  the  army  and  the 
Government  needed  a  dictator.  Of  course  it  was  not 
for  this,  but  in  spite  of  it,  that  I  have  given  you  the 
command.     Only  those  generals  who  gain  successes 


346  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

can  set  up  as  dictators.  What  I  now  ask  of  you  is 
military  success,  and  I  will  risk  the  dictatorship.  The 
Government  will  support  you  to  the  utmost  of  its 
ability,  which  is  neithermore nor  less  than  it  has  done 
and  will  do  for  its  commanders.  I  much  fear  that 
the  spirit  which  you  have  assisted  to  infuse  into  the 
army  of  criticising  their  commander  and  withholding 
confidence  from  him,  will  now  turn  upon  you.  I 
shall  assist  you,  as  far  as  I  can,  to  put  it  down. 
Neither  you  nor  J^apoleon,  were  he  alive  again,  could 
get  any  good  out  of  any  army  while  such  a  spirit  pre- 
vails in  it.  And  now,  beware  of  rashness !  Beware 
of  rashness !  But  with  energy  and  sleepless  vigilance 
go  forward  and  give  us  victories." 

Hooker  began  by  restoring  the  discipline  of  the 
army  of  the  Potomac,  which  had  been  greatly  re- 
laxed, and  opened  the  spring  campaign  with  every 
promise  of  success.  His  army  was  between  the 
Rappahannock  and  the  Potomac,  having  Aquia  as  its 
base.  He  determined  to  aim  again  at  Richmond  and 
broke  up  his  camp.  He  moved  his  right  wing,  consist- 
ing of  Meade,  Howard,  and  Slocum,up  the  Rappahan- 
nock to  cross  that  stream  and  the  Rapidan,  which 
runs  into  it,  and  to  turn  the  Confederate  left.  At 
the  same  time  Sedgwick,  with  the  corps  of  Sickles 
and  Reynolds,  besides  his  own,  was  to  cross  below 
Fredericksburg  and  menace  Lee's  front.  On  April 
28  and  29  the  right  wing,  having  crossed  the  Rappa- 
hannock, passed  the  Rapidan  almost  unopposed,  How- 
ard and  Slocum  at  Germanna  Ford  above,  and  Meade 
at  Ely's  Ford  below,  all  moving  on  Chancellors- 
ville,  where  Hooker  soon  had  forty-six  thou- 
sand men  collected;  and  at  the  same  time  Sedge- 
wick  crossed  below  Fredericksburg.  On  April  30 
Couch's  corps  from  the  reserve   crossed  at  Banks'  Ford 


GENERAL,  UI.VSSES  SIMPSON   GRANT. 


17 


HOOKER  AND  LEE.  347 

just  above  Fredericksburg,  and  Sickles  from  Fal- 
mouth, which  is  opposite  Fredericksburg,  at  United 
States  Ford,  a  short  distance  higher  up,  both  pro- 
ceeding to  Chancellorsville. 

On  May  1  Hooker  formed  his  line  and  entrenched 
it,  placing  Howard  on  the  r-ight  as  outward  flank, 
Slocuni  and  Couch  in  the  centre,  and  Meade  next  the 
river,  while  the  corps  of  Sickle  was  held  in  reserve. 
On  the  same  day  Lee  moved  towards  Hooker  with  all 
his  armv,  and  attacked  at  various  points  with  the 
object  of  discovering  Hooker's  position.  On  May 
2  Lee  sent  General  Jackson  twenty-six  thousand  men 
to  make  a  long  detour,  to  pass  into  the  '"  Wilder- 
ness," a  great  thicket  which  lay  to  the  west  of 
Chancellorsville,  and  coming  out  of  it  to  take 
Howard  by  surprise.  Jackson's  men  were  seen  and 
counted  whilst  they  were  passing  over  a  hill,  and 
Howard  was  warned  to  take  precautions,  but  he  ne- 
glected to  do  this,  and  in  the  afternoon  the  enemy 
came  down  upon  him  preceded  by  a  rush  of  fright- 
ened wild  animals.  Howard's  corps  w^as  thrown  into 
confusion  and  completely  routed. 

During  this  engagement  the  Confederates  suffered 
a  severe  loss.  At  the  close  of  the  evening  General 
"  Stonewall  "  Jackson  went  to  the  front  to  recon- 
noitre, and  as  he  rode  back  again  with  his  staff,  some 
of  his  own  men,  mistaking  the  horsemen  for  Federal 
cavalry,  fired  a  volley  at  them  by  which  several  were 
killed.  A  second  vollev  inflicted  three  w^ounds  on 
Jackson,  and  as  his  horse  dashed  into  the  wood,  he 
was  thrown  violently  against  the  limb  of  a  tree  and 
injured  more.  Whilst  his  men  were  bearing  him  off 
severely  wounded  on  a  litter,  a  Federal  battery 
opened  fire  down  the  roads  and  struck  one  of  the  men 
who  was  bearing  him,  ujDon  which  he  fell  heavily  to 


3J:8  WARS  OP  THE  CENTURY. 

the  ground.  He  finally  reached  the  hospital  where 
his  arm  was  amputated,  but  he  died  within  the  week. 

Oil  the  following  day,  May  3,  Lee  attacked  the 
angle  and  left  face  of  the  Federal  line,  and  drove 
Hooker  entirely  back  upon  tJie  river,  his  right  below 
Ely's  Ford,  his  left  below  United  States  Ford.  This 
success  was  partly  due  to  the  fact  that  General 
Hooker  had  been  rendered  insensible  by  a  shot  strik- 
ing the  pillar  of  the  Chancellorsville  house,  against 
which  he  was  leaning,  so  that  all  proper  command 
of  the  Federal  troops  was  lost.  In  the  meantime 
Sedgwick  had  attacked  the  Fredericksburg  heights, 
of  which  we  have  heard  so  much,  carried  them  and 
advanced  along  the  road  to  Richmond,  thus  threaten- 
ing the  Confederate  rear.  On  the  following  day 
Lee  drew  off  a  large  detachment  of  his  army  and 
turned  upon  Sedgwick,  who  after  a  heavy  fight  was 
stopped,  and  driven  over  Banks'  Ford,  being  able, 
however,  to  rejoin  Hooker  bv  the  L'nited  States  Ford. 
On  the  nioht  of  ]\Iav  5  the  Federal  armv  all  re- 
crossed  the  Rappahannock,  leaving  on  the  field  four- 
teen guns,  thousands  of  small  arms,  all  their  dea'l 
and  many  of  their  wounded. 

In  this  series  of  battles  the  Federals  lost  about 
seventeen  thousand  men,  the  Confederates  thirteen 
thousand.  Hooker  had  commanded  altogether  about 
one  hundred  and  thirteen  thousand  five  hundred  men 
and  Lee  sixty-two  thousand,  but  the  generalship  of 
the  Confederates  was  so  admirable  that  they  con- 
trived in  every  engagement  to  be  superior  in  num- 
bers at  the  particular  point  \vhere  the  attack  was 
made.  Ilamley  remarks  that  in  this  war,  as  at  Bull 
Run,  the  forces  which  had  succeeded  in  crossing  a 
river  beyond  the  enemy's  flank,  and  which  there- 
upon aimed  at  his  rear,  advanced  on  a  front  perj^en- 


HOOKER  AND  LEE.  349 

dicular  to  the  course  of  the  river,  thus  exposing 
their  outward  flank,  and  that  thej  only  escaped  de- 
struction because  they  contrived  to  hokl,  at  the  time 
of  the  attack,  certain  point>=;  of  passage.  He  says: 
"  Had  the  Federals  at  Bull  Run  let  go  their  hold  of 
Stone  Bridge,  by  a  continued  advance,  without  gain- 
ing MitchelFs  Ford,  or  had  Hooker,  moving  down 
the  stream,  passed  by  United  States  Ford  without 
gaining  Banks'  Ford,  they  would  in  either  case  have 
been  in  great  peril  of  being  driven  not  across  but  into 
the  river." 

After  these  successes  public  opinion  in  the  South 
began  to  demand  that  Lee  should  invade  the  Xorth, 
or  at  least  threaten  Washington.  His  armv  had  re- 
ceived  a  lieavy  reinforcement  by  the  arrival  of  Long- 
street's  corps.  Losses  had  been  supplied  by  a  uni- 
versal levy  of  conscripts,  which  called  even  boys  of 
sixteen  from  school,  and  tlic  army  had  unbounded 
confidence  in  itself.  Vicksburg  was  being  besieged  by 
Grant,  and  its  fall  would  deal  a  deadly  blow  to  the 
Confederac}^  unless  it  were  neutralised  by  a  victory 
in  the  East.  Finally,  there  was  a  hope  that  if  a  great 
battle  were  won  by  the  Confederates  thev  would  re- 
ceive  recognition,  if  not  active  assistance,  from  Eng- 
land and  France. 

Lee  collected  a  body  of  ninety  thousand  men  at 
Culpeper,  including  General  Stuart's  body  of 
cavalry,  which  was  ten  thousand  strong,  while  Hooker 
was  still  posted  on  the  Kappahannock,  opposite 
Fredericksburg.  Lee  crossed  the  Potomac  between 
June  22  and  25,  and  marched  to  the  Xorth.  Hooker 
was  somewhat  late  in  hearing  of  the  movement,  but 
followed  him  after  a  few  days.  He  desired  to  add 
to  his  army  the  body  of  eleven  thousand  men  under 
French,  who  were  lying  useless  at  Harper's  Ferry, 


350  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

but  Halleck  would  not  consent  to  this,  the  con- 
sequence of  which  was  that  he  resigned  his  com- 
mand and  his  place  was  taken  by  General  Meade. 
His  first  step  was  to  order  the  evacuation  of  Harper'^ 
Ferrv  and  remove  its  earrison  to  the  citv  of  Fred- 
erick  as  a  reserve. 

The  Confederates  concentrated  themselves  in 
Hagerstown,  and  spread  over  the  whole  country  as 
iar  as  the  Susquehanna,  Avliile  the  advanced  guard 
under  Ewell  pushed  on  to  Carlisle  and  threatened 
Harrisburg,  the  main  part  of  Lee's  army  remaining 
at  Chambersburg,  or  between  that  place  and 
Gettysburg.  Lee  seems  to  have  expected  that 
the  Federal  armv  would  have  stayed  on  the 
south  side  of  the  Potomac,  but  when  he 
heard  that  the  Federal  armv  was  marching  he  de- 
termined  to  get  before  it  and  ordered  the  concentra- 
tion of  all  his  forces  at  Gettvsburg.  Meade  was  also 
directins;  his  advance  towards  the  same  citv,  to  which 
manv  different  roads  converse.  Meade's  advanced 
cavalry  guard  under  the  command  of  Burford 
reached  Gettysburg  on  June  30,  whilst  the  rest  of 
ifeade's  army  was  extended  sixty  miles  to  the  rear  as 
far  back  as  the  Potomac.  Meade's  first  design  was  to 
concentrate  his  army  in  a  strong  position  on  the  Pipe 
Creek  Hills  in  Marvland,  about  fifteen  miles  south 
of  Gettysburg. 

The  battle  began  on  July  1,  by  the  first  corps 
under  Kcynolds  meeting  the  advance-guard  of  the 
enemy  who  were  advancing  through  the  passes  of  the 
South  Momitains.  Lee  had  about  seventy-three 
thousand  five  hundred  infantry  and  artillery  and 
Meade  about  eighty-two  thousand,  while  the  cavalry 
numbered  about  eleven  thousand  on  each  side.  The 
battle-field  is  about  twenty-five  square  miles  in  ex- 


HOOKER  AND  LEE.  351 

tent,  and  lies  for  the  most  part  to  the  south  and  west 
of  the  town.  About  a  mile  from  the  town  stretches 
the  long  Seminary  Ridge,  so  called  from  a  theological 
seminary  which  stood  upon  it.  About  a  mile  from 
this  is  another  ridge,  named  Cemetery  Kidge, 
separated  from  the  first  ridge  by  a  valley.  This 
second  ridge  bends  a  little  towards  the  east,  and  at 
the  point  where  the  curve  begins  lies  the  town  ceme- 
tery. The  eastern  point  of  this  is  called  Gulp's  Hill, 
and  at  the  other  end  of  the  ridge,  about  three  miles 
from  Gettysburg,  lie  two  little  rounded  hills  called 
respectively  Little  Eound  Top  and  Big  Round  Top. 
The  stress  of  the  battle  was  most  felt  on  these  two 
hills  and  in  the  valleys  lying  between  them. 

It  is  doubtful  whether  either  commander  intended 
to  bring  on  a  battle  on  July  1,  but  when  the  engage- 
ment first  began  both  sides  were  heavily  reinforced, 
and  both  fought  with  determination.  There  was  an 
obstinate  struggle  for  the  possession  of  the  Cham- 
bersburg  road,  especially  after  the  Confederates  had 
planted  several  guns  to  sweep  it.  The  Federals 
Avere  at  first  successful,  but  they  were  soon  driven 
back  by  superior  forces,  and  were  driven  through 
the  town  to  the  Cemetery  Ridge  and  Culp's  HilL 
When  Meade  lieard  of  the  defeat  of  his  troops  under 
Reynolds  and  of  that  general's  death,  he  transferred 
the  command  to  Hancock,  who  determined  to  take  up 
his  position  on  the  Cemetery  Ridge.  Ewell  had  in 
the  meantime  extended  his  left  wing  to  the  east  of 
Culp's  Hill  and  occupied  Gettysburg,  but  no  further 
engagement  took  place  that  evening,  and  the  night 
was  occupied  by  both  j)arties  taking  wp  their  posi- 
tions. 

On  July  2  both  armies  stood  in  order  of  battle, 
the  Federal  troops  along  the  Cemetery  Ridge",  and 


352  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

tlie  Confederates  on  the  Seminary  Ridge  and  beyond 
it  to  the  other  side  of  Gettysburg.  Lee  opened  the 
attack  by  ordering  Longstreet,  who  was  on  his  right, 
to  attack  both  the  isolated  hills.  There  was  a  mur- 
derous struggle  for  the  possession  of  Little  Round 
Lop,  bayonets,  clubbed  muskets,  and  even  stones 
being  used,  officers  joining  in  the  melee;  but  at 
length  the  Texans  who  were  attacking  it  were  re- 
pulsed and  the  position  was  secured.  Sickles,  wish- 
ing to  improve  his  position,  advanced  for  about  half 
a  mile  against  the  Seminary  Hill,  but  was  attacked 
both  in  front  and  rear  in  the  "  Peach  orchard,"  and 
was  driven  back,  himself  bidly  wounded,  with  the 
loss  of  a  lari>;e  number  of  his  men.  Just  at  dusk 
Ewcll  made  an  attack  from  Gettysburg  on  the  Ceme- 
tery and  Gulp's  Hill  with  the  so-called  Louisiana 
Tigers  and  other  troops.  The  Tigers  had  the  repu- 
tation of  having  never  failed  in  a  charge,  and  in  spite 
of  the  frightful  losses  caused  by  the  artillery  and  by 
vollevs  of  musketrv  thev  kept  on  till  thev  reached 
the  guns  and  fought  for  them  hand  to  hand.  Car- 
roll's brigade  now  came  to  the  rescue,  and  the  re- 
mains of  the  Confederate  column  fled  down  the  hill 
in  the  darkness,  twelve  liundred  of  the  seventeen 
hundred  Tigers  having  been  struck  down,  and  the  ex- 
istence of  the  corps  annihilated.  The  battle  now  came 
to  an  end,  but  Lee  determined  to  renew  the  attack  on 
the  following  morning. 

On  July  3  Meade  began  the  battle  in  the  early 
morning  by  drivingEwell's  troops  out  of  Gulp's  Hill. 
Lee  was  not  aware  of  this,  but  was  under  the  im- 
pression that  the  centre  and  right  wing  of  the  Union 
troops  had  been  considerablv  weakened  by  the  en- 
gagements of  tlie  previous  day.  He  determined 
therefore  to  attempt  to  pierce  the  centre  of  ]\[eade's 


HOOKER  AND  LEE.  353 

line  and  to  support  his  attack  by  a  cavalry  charge 
made  by  Stuart  in  the  rear.  In  order  to  give  this 
general  time  to  get  round  to  the  right  wing  of  the 
Federals  the  attack  was  put  oft"  till  the  afternoon.  A 
large  number  of  cannon  had  been  placed  in  position 
on  both  sides  during  the  morning.  Lee  had  one 
hundred  and  twenty  along  the  Seminary  Ridge  and 
Meade  eighty  on  the  Cemetery  Ridge  and  along  a 
low  irregular  stone  wall  which  lies  on  the  road  from 
Gettysburg  to  Toney  Town.  The  Confederates 
opened  fire  at  1  p.m.,  and  the  artillery  duel  com- 
menced. There  was  a  continuous  and  deafening  roar 
which  was  heard  fifty  miles  away.  The  shot  and 
shells  ploughed  up  the  ground,  shattered  gravestones 
in  the  cemetery,  sent  their  fragments  flying  among 
the  troops,  exploded  caissons,  and  dismounted  guns. 
At  the  end  of  two  hours  Meade's  chief  of  artillery 
ordered  the  firing  to  cease,  with  the  object  of  cool- 
ing the  guns,  and  to  save  ammunition  for  future  use 
in  repelling  the  infantry  charge.  Lee  now  organised 
his  famous  attack,  and  with  fourteen  thousand  of  his 
best  troops,  including  Pickett's  division,  which  had 
not  arrived  in  time  for  the  previous  day's  fighting, 
came  out  of  the  wood,  formed  in  heavy  columns,  and 
moved  forward  to  the  charge.  They  were  obliged  to 
pass  a  mile  of  ground  at  full  speed,  but  before  they 
had  got  half-wav  the  Federal  artillerv  was  directed 
against  them.  Their  ranks  were  ploughed  through 
and  through,  but  the  gaps  were  closed  up  and  the 
column  did  not  halt.  As  they  drew  nearer,  the  bat- 
teries used  grape  and  canister,  and  some  infantry 
posted  in  front  of  the  main  line  rose  to  its  feet  and 
fired  vollevs  of  mnsketrv  into  their  risrht  flank.  The 
attack  was  directed  towards  a  clump  of  trees  on  a 
depression  in  the  Cemetery  Ridge  where  a  stone 
23 


354  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

wall  made  an  angle  with  its  point  outwards.  This 
has  been  always  known  since  as  ''  Bloody  Angle," 
and  it  represents  the  only  point  in  the  Federal  line 
which  was  penetrated  by  the  Confederates.  About 
one  hundred  and  fifty  of  General  Armistead's  sol- 
diers sprung  over  the  stone  '.vail  in  order  to  capture 
the  Federal  guns.  A  murderous  conflict  ensued  in 
which  Armistead  fell.  Webb  and  Hancock  were 
wounded  and  the  result  was  the  entire  defeat  of  the 
Confederates.  Of  the  magnificent  column,  only  a 
broken  fragment  returned,  nearly  every  officer  in  it, 
except  Pickett,  having  been  killed  or  wounded. 

Stuart's  cavalry,  which  had  been  intended  to  co- 
operate with  the  movement  in  the  centre,  was  unable 
to  effect  anything,  because  he  met  a  force  of  Federal 
cavalry  about  four  miles  east  of  Gettysburg  and  was 
unable  to  make  his  attack  at  the  proper  time.  After 
Pickett's  defeat  there  was,  as  at  Waterloo,  which  this 
battle  in  some  respects  resembles,  a  general  advance 
of  the  whole  Federal  line  which  brought  the  struggle 
to  a  close.  Lee  gave  orders  for  a  retreat  during  the 
night,  and  on  the  following  day,  July  4,  the  Con- 
federates, favoured  by  the  heavy  rain  which  so  often 
accompanies  a  battle,  retired  through  the  mountain 
passes  to  ITagerstown  and  then  across  the  Potomac. 
It  is  said  that  the  retreat  was  very  pitiful,  as  the 
roads  were  in  bad  condition.  Few  of  the  wounded 
had  been  properly  cared  for,  and  as  they  were  jolted 
along  in  agony,  they  were  groaning,  cursing,  babbling 
of  their  homes,  and  calling  upon  their  friends  to  put 
them  out  of  their  misery ;  while  they  were  in  constant 
apprehension  of  an  attack  in  the  rear.  The  loss  of 
the  Federals  was  3,072  dead,  14,497  wounded,  and 
5,434  prisoners,  making  a  total  of  23,003  men ;  that 
of  the  Confederates  was  23,761  men,  composed  of 


HOOKER  AND  LEE.  355 

2,592  dead,  12,702  wounded,  and  7,467  prisoners. 
Lee  left  seven  thousand  of  his  wounded  amongst  the 
unburied  dead,  and  twenty-seven  thousand  muskets 
were  picked  up  on  the  field. 

On  the  very  day  of  Lee's  retreat  Vicksburg,  on  the 
Mississippi,  the  largest  town  of  the  Mississippi 
State,  capitulated.  It  is  situated  on  a  high  bluff 
overlooking  the  river  where  it  makes  a  sharp  bend 
ending  in  a  long  narrow  peninsula.  It  is  about  forty- 
five  miles  distant  from  Jackson,  the  capital  of  the 
State.  About  one  hundred  railes  below  Vicksburg  is 
Port  Hudson,  and  between  these  two  points  the  great 
Ked  Hiver,  which  drains  Texas,  Arkansas,  and  Louis- 
iana, flows  into  the  Mississippi.  Vicksburg  was  of 
great  importance  to  the  Confederates  because  they 
drew  a  large  portion  of  their  supplies  from  Texas 
and  the  Red  River  basin ;  especially  as  they  had  lost 
ISTew  Orleans,  Baton  Rouge,  and  Memphis.  The 
first  attempt  to  capture  Vicl.sburg  for  the  Federals 
was  when  after  taking  New  Orleans  in  April,  1862, 
Admiral  Farragut  had  gone  up  the  river  in  the  fol- 
lowing month  and  demanded  its  surrender;  the  de- 
mand was  refused  and  he  could  not  capture  the  city 
without  a  land  force. 

The  attack  was  only  renewed  at  the  close  of  1862 
by  the  united  operations  of  Grant  and  Sherman. 
Grant  established  his  depot  of  supplies  at  Holly 
Springs,  but  on  December  2  Van  Dorn  made  a  dash 
at  this  place,  which  was  held  by  fifteen  hundred 
men,  and  captured  it  with  its  garrison.  Grant  was 
obliged  to  give  up  his  plan  and  retire  to  Memphis. 
Sherman  had  reached  Vicksburg,  but  when  he  heard 
of  the  disaster  was  obliged  to  surrender  his  enter- 
prise. Operations  were  resumed  in  the  spring  of 
1863,  and  the  battle  of  Champion  Hill,  the  bloodiest 


356     '  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  the  campaign,  was  fought  on  May  15.  Grant 
found  Pemberton  with  twenty-three  thousand  men  on 
high  ground  well  selected  for  defence,  covering  the 
three  roads  which  led  westward.  After  a  struggle 
of  four  hours  Pemberton  retreated  to  the  crossing  of 
the  Big  Black  River,  leaving  his  dead  and  wounded 
and  thirty  guns  on  the  field.  Grant  lost  in  killed 
and  wounded  and  missing  2,441,  Pemberton  over 
three  thousand  killed  and  wounded  and  as  many 
taken  prisoners. 

Shortly  after  this  Sherman  came  up  and  Grant 
ordered  the  building  of  three  bridges  over  the  Big 
Black  River;  one  was  a  floating  or  raft  bridge,  one 
was  made  by  felling  trees  on  both  sides  of  the  stream 
and  letting  them  fall  so  that  their  boughs  would  in- 
terlace over  the  channel,  the  trunks  not  being  en- 
tirely cut  through  and  so  hanging  to  the  stumps; 
planks  were  laid  crosswise  on  these  trees  and  a  good 
roadway  was  formed.  In  the  third  bridge  cotton 
bales  were  used  for  pontoons.  Sherman  made  a 
fourth  bridge  higher  up  tlie  stream,  and  during  that 
night  he  and  Grant  sat  on  a  log  together  and  saw  the 
long  procession  of  blue-coated  men  pass  over  by  the 
light  of  torches.  The  next  day,  May  18,  the  whole 
army  was  west  of  the  river. 

Pemberton  marched  straight  into  Vicksbnrg  and 
shut  himself  up  there,  followed  closely  by  Grant, 
who  invested  the  town  on  May  19,  Sherman  being 
placed  on  the  right  at  Haines'  Bluff.  Grant  had 
now  with  him  about  thirty  thousand  men.  The 
line  of  defences  before  him  was  eight  miles  long,  and 
it  was  likely  that  he  would  be  attacked  in  the  rear. 
He  therefore  ordered  an  assault  on  May  22,  hoping 
to  carry  the  place  by  storm;  but  this  was  found  im- 
possible, and  the  assault  ended  with  a  loss  of  two 


HOOKER  AND  LEE.  357 

thousand  five  hundred  men.  He  now  settled  down 
to  a  regular  siege.  Thousands  of  shells  were  thrown 
into  the  city,  the  inhabitants  finding  refuge  in  caves. 
Provisions  became  scarce,  and  mules  were  used  for 
food.  At  last  the  besiegers  brought  their  trenches 
so  close  to  the  defences  that  the  soldiers  bandied  jests 
with  each  other  across  the  narrow  space.  After 
forty-seven  days  spent  in  this  manner,  when  a  grand 
assault  was  imminent,  Pemberton  unconditionally 
surrendered  both  the  city  and  his  army  of  thirty-one 
thousand  six  hundred  men  on  July  4,  1863.  By 
the  capture  of  this  city  the  Mississippi  was  open  to 
the  Federals  and  the  forces  of  the  Confederates  were 
cut  completely  in  two. 


358  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  LTV. 


THE       WILDERNESS. 


The  vicissitudes  of  the  war  now  carry  us  into 
another  region,  Chattanooga  is  in  Tennessee,  not 
far  from  the  frontiers  of  Alabama  and  Georgia,  and 
General  Rosecrans  was  niancenvring  to  get  possession 
of  it,  being  opposed  by  the  Confederate  Gen- 
eral Bragg.  Rosecrans  obtained  possession  of 
the  town,  and  proceeded  in  pursuit  of  Bragg.  After 
a  week's  mana?uvring  the  two  armies  came  up 
with  each  other,  and  there  was  fought  on  September 
19  and  20,  1863,  a  great  battle  on  the  banks  of  the 
Chickamauga  Creek.  Rosecrans  had  about  fifty-five 
thousand  men,  and  Bragg  after  being  reinforced  by 
Long-street,  about  seventy  thousand.  Bragg  took 
the  offensive,  and  his  plan  was  to  make  a  feigned 
attack  on  the  Federal  right,  while  he  directed  his 
main  strength  towards  the  left  with  the  intention  of 
crushing  it  and  seizing  the  roads  which  led  to  Chat- 
tanooga. The  first  day's  battle  began  at  10  a.m. 
and  lasted  all  day.  The  projected  attack  upon  the 
left  failed,  and  although  the  Federal  positions  were 
for  a  time  forced  back,  they  were  recovered  before 
night  and  the  situation  was  unchanged  by  the  day's 
fighting. 

The  night  was  spent  by  both  sides  in  preparation 
for  a  renewal  of  the  struggle,  and  Bragg's  design 
was  to  carry  out  the  plan  of  the  day  before,  but  the 
fighting  did  not  begin  till  the  day  was  well  advanced. 


THE  WILDERNESS.  359 

snd  the  Confederates  could  make  no  permanent  im- 
pression. At  last,  apparently  through  an  accident,  the 
centre  of  the  Federal  line  was  weakened  by  the  re- 
moval of  troops  to  the  rear,  and  Longstreet  seizing  his 
« pportunity  pressed  six  divisions  of  his  men  through 
the  gap.  Rosecrans  believed  himself  to  be  de- 
feated and  rode  back  to  Chattanooga,  but  Thomas 
on  the  left  wing  held  his  ground  and  the  Con- 
federates were  entirely  unable  to  shake  him.  At 
the  same  time  the  battle  must  be  regarded  as  a  Con- 
federate victory.  The  Federal  loss  was  sixteen  hun- 
dred, -that  of  the  other  side  perhaps  slightly  more. 

A  montli  later  the  Federal  forces  in  the  West  were 
reorganised  and  a  Military  Division  of  the  Missis- 
sippi was  created,  at  the  head  of  which  was  placed 
General  Grant.  Grant  arrived  to  take  up  his  com- 
mand on  October  23,  and  found  the  army  in  a  very 
bad  condition,  Chattanooga  being  seriously  threat- 
ened by  Bragg's  army.  In  the  middle  of  November 
Grant  was  joined  by  Sherman,  their  united  forces 
amounting  to  eighty  thousand  men.  Bragg's  army 
occupied  a  position  twelve  miles  long,  the  flank  being 
on  the  northern  ends  of  Look-out  Mountain  and  Mis- 
sionary Ridge,  while  the  centre  stretched  across 
the  Chattanooga  Valley.  The  greater  part  of  the 
line  was  well  entrenched.  Grant  placed  Sherman 
on  his  left,  on  the  north  side  of  the  Tennessee, 
opposite  the  bend  of  Missionary  Ridge,  Thomas  in 
the  centre  across  the  Chattanooga  Valley,  and  Hooker 
on  his  right  at  the  base  of  Look-out  Mountain.  His 
plan  was  to  attack  Bragg's  right  with  Sherman's 
forces,  to  capture  the  heights  of  Missionary  Ridge, 
v/hile  Thomas  and  Hooker  should  occupy  the  atten- 
tion of  the  centre  and  left  so  as  to  prevent  them  from 
sending  any  reinforcements  against  Sherman.     Mis- 


3G0  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

sionary  Kidge  was  the  key  of  the  position,  and  if  that 
were  taken  his  whole  array  would  be  compelled  to 
retreat. 

Sherman  met  with  unexpected  difficulties  and  was 
only  partially  successful.  Hooker  advanced  to  the 
base  of  Look-out  Mountain,  a  lofty  hill  more  than 
two  thousand  feet  high,  from  which  there  is  a  magni- 
ficent view  extending  over  seven  States.  Disregard- 
ing, or  rather  going  beyond  his  orders,  he  climbed 
the  steep  heights  in  the  rain,  and  his  soldiers  disap- 
peared in  a  thick  mist  which  hung  round  the  moun- 
tain. At  the  very  summit  he  routed  the  enemy  and 
captured  many  guns  and  prisoners.  This  is  known 
as  "  The  battle  above  the  clouds." 

The  plan  for  the  next  day  was  that  Hooker  should 
descend  the  Look-out  Mountain  on  the  eastern  side 
and  arrive  at  the  left  of  Bragg's  position  on  Mission- 
ary Ridge ;  but  the  destruction  of  a  bridge  delayed 
him,  and  Grant  saw  that  Bragg  was  weakening  his 
centre  to  strengthen  his  right  against  Sherman's  at- 
tack. He  therefore  ordered  the  centre  to  advance. 
Thej  crossed  the  valley,  reached  the  summit  of  the 
ridge  and  swept  everything  before  them.  Bragg's 
army  was  completely  defeated  and  his  captured  guns 
were  turned  against  his  troops  as  they  fled.  In  this 
series  of  battles  the  loss  of  the  Federals  was  nearly 
six  thousand  men,  that  of  the  Confederates  ten  thou- 
sand, of  whom  six  thousand  were  taken  prisoners, 
and  forty-two  guns. 

In  February,  1864,  a  new  complexion  was  given 
to  the  war  by  Grant  being  given  the  title  of  Lieuten- 
ant-General,  with  the  command  of  all  the  armies,  of 
course  under  the  supreme  command  of  the  President 
— a  rank  which  had  only  been  held  previously  by 
Washington  and  Scott.        Grant  took  up  his  head- 


THE  WILDERNESS.  361 

quarters  with  the  army  of  the  Potomac.  For  the 
purposes  of  the  campaign  he  considered  that  army 
as  his  centre,  the  army  of  the  James  River  under 
Butler  as  his  left  wing,  the  western  armies  under 
Sherman  as  his  right  wing,  and  the  army  of  Banks 
in  Louisiana  as  a  force  to  operate  in  the  enemy's 
rear.  His  design  was  that  all  the  armies  should 
move  simultaneously:  Butler  against  Petersburg, 
to  cut  off  the  communications  of  Richmond  with  the 
South;  Sherman  against  the  army  of  Johnston  in 
Georgia;,  with  the  view  of  capturing  Atlanta ;  Banks 
to  take  Mobile  and  to  close  its  harbour  to  blockade- 
runners;  Sigel  to  drive  back  the  Confederates  from 
the  Shenandoah  Valley  and  to  wrest  that  fertile 
region  from  them;  while  the  army  of  the  Potomac 
should  follow  Lee's  army  and  fight  it  wherever  it 
went. 

The  principal  scene  of  the  war  is  now  laid  in  the 
Wilderness,  a  district  about  twelve  or  fifteen  miles 
square,  south  of  the  River  Rapidan.  The  ground 
was  formerly  the  site  of  numerous  iron-works,  mines 
having  been  opened  to  dig  the  ore,  and  the  woods 
cut  down  to  supply  fuel  for  smelting.  When  the 
mines  were  abandoned  a  tangled  growth  of  under- 
wood made  its  appearance,  and  the  whole  region 
was  deserted  excepting  a  few  open  spots,  and  a  few 
roadside  taverns.  In  Mav,  IS 64,  the  main  bodv  of 
Lee's  army  lay  upon  the  western  edge  of  the  Wilder- 
ness, with  a  line  of  observation  along  the  Rapidan, 
and  headquarters  at  Orange  Court  House.  The 
army  of  the  Potomac  was  north  of  the  Rapidan,  op- 
posite the  Wilderness;  it  consisted  of  three  infantry 
corps  under  Hancock,  Warren  and  Sedgwick,  and  a 
cavalry  corps  commanded  by  Sheridan,  Meade  being 
in  command  of  the  whole.     Burnside  with  twenty 


362  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

thousand  men  was  at  Annapolis.  The  Confederate 
army  was  under  the  command  of  Lee  and  consisted 
of  the  infantry  corps  of  Ewell  and  Hill  and  the 
cavalry  of  Stuart,  Long-street's  force  being  at  no 
great  distance.  Lee's  force  was  reckoned  at  about 
sixty-five  tliousand  men,  Grant's  at  about  one  hun- 
dred and  sixteen  thousand. 

At  midnight  on  May  3  the  army  of  the  Potomac 
crossed  the  Rapidan  on  five  pontoon  bridges  and 
plunged  into  the  Wilderness.  Through  this  forest 
two  roads  run  north  and  south,  which  are  crossed 
by  two  others  running  east  and  west,  the  Orange  turn- 
pike road  and  the  Orange  plank  road.  There  are 
also  numerous  cross  roads  and  wood  paths.  The 
army  by  itself  could  have  passed  through  these  woods 
in  a  few  hours  and  have  reached  the  open  country 
beyond ;  but  there  was  a  train  of  four  thousand  wag- 
gons for  commissariat  and  ammunition,  and  reserve 
artillery  of  more  than  one  hundred  guns,  so  that  the 
army  remained  in  the  Wilderness  during  the  whole 
of  ^fay  4.  Grant  slept  that  night  at  the  Wilderness 
Tavern,  situated  where  the  Germania  plank  road 
crosses  the  Orange  turnpike  road.  As  Lee  had  not 
disputed  the  passage  of  the  Eapidan,  Grant  believed 
that  he  would  not  fight  in  the  Wilderness  at  all. 

However,  on  the  morning  of  ]\Iay  5,  his  lines  were 
attacked,  and  it  was  evident  that  Lee  had  formed  the 
plan  of  sending  his  whole  army  dovm  the  two 
parallel  roads,  and  attacking  the  army  of  the  Poto- 
mac whilst  it  was  engaged  on  this  difiicult  ground. 
Grant  immediately  recalled  Hancock's  corps,  which 
liad  gained  the  open  ground,  and  hurried  up  Burn- 
side  from  the  rear.  Neither  artillery  nor  cavalry 
could  be  used  in  the  thick  wood,  and  the  battle  as- 
sumed the  form  of  a  hand-to-hand  engagement  be- 


THE  WILDERNESS.  363 

tween  individuals;  when  night  fell  no  decisive  ad- 
vantage had  been  gained  on  either  side.  Lee  had 
succeeded  better  on  the  left  than  on  the  right,  and 
Longstreet's  corps  had  not  arrived  in  time  to  take 
part  in  the  engagement.  The  night  was  spent  in 
cutting  down  trees,  piling  up  logs  for  breastworks, 
and  digging  trenches. 

On  the  morning  of  May  G  Hancock  attacked  the 
enemy's  right,  and  at  first  drove  the  enemy  before 
him,  but  on  Longstrcct  coming  up,  the  Federals  were 
obliged  to  retire,  Longstreet  being  seriously  wounded 
in  exactly  the  same  way  as  "-  Stonewall  "  Jackson 
had  been,  a  year  before.  As  he  was  riding  with  his 
staff  some  of  his  own  men  mistook  them  for  Federal 
troops  and  fired  upon  them;  he  was  wounded  in  the 
head  and  neck  and  had  to  be  carried  from  the  field. 
The  conflict  continued  throughout  the  day  with  no 
very  tangible  result ;  the  losses  on  each  side  had  been 
severe,  numbering  about  fifteen  thousand. 

On  the  afternoon  of  May  7  Grant  gave  the  order 
for  the  army  to  move  forward  by  the  left  flank  to- 
wards Spottsylvania,  wishing  to  place  his  army  be- 
tween the  Confederates  and  the  capital.  Spottsyl- 
vania Court  House  is  fifteen  miles  south-east  of  the 
battle-field  of  the  Wilderness  and  about  twelve  miles 
south-west  of  Fredericksburg.  On  the  morning  of 
Sunday,  May  8,  the  Federal  cavalry  reached 
Spottsylvania  Court  House  and  easily  dispersed  the 
small  force  of  the  enemy's  cavalry  which  they  found 
there,  but  on  Anderson's  force  coming  up  they  were 
compelled  to  retire,  and  when  Warren  reached  the 
same  spot  he  found  the  Confederates  entrenched  in 
his  front.  Owing  to  other  circumstances  the  whole 
of  Lee's  forces  took  possession  of  the  ground  before 
Grant's  army  could  reach  it. 


304  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

On  the  same  day  Grant  despatched  Sheridan  with 
his  cavalry  to  ride  ronnd  the  Confederate  army,  tear- 
iiiij;  up  railroads,  destroying  bridges  and  depots,  and 
captnring  trains.  lie  succeeded  in  destroying  ten 
miles  of  railroad  and  several  railway  trains,  cutting 
all  the  telegraph  wires,  and  recovering  four  hundred 
Federal  prisoners  who  were  being  conducted  to  Rich- 
mond. This  last  engagement  took  place  at  Yellow 
Tavern,  seven  miles  north  of  the  capital,  and  in  it 
General  Stuart,  the  famous  cavalry  officer,  was 
mortally  wounded.  He  went  so  far  as  to  break  into 
the  defences  of  Richmond  and  capture  some  pris- 
oners ;  he  then  crossed  the  Chickahominy  and  re- 
I'oined  the  main  armv  on  May  25. 

The  Federal  troops  wqvq  now  posted  in  such  a 
manner  that  Hancock  was  on  the  extreme  right,  then 
came  Warren,  then  Sedgwick,  and  then  Burnside  on 
the  left.  The  western  part  of  the  Confederate  en- 
trenchments Avas  the  salient  angle  at  the  extreme 
northern  point.  It  was  determined  to  assault  this, 
but  in  spite  of  vigorous  attacks  it  was  not  carried  till 
^lay  12,  when  Hancock  made  an  assault  upon  it  in 
the  early  morning.  Johnston's  entire  division  of 
nearly  four  thousand  men  were  taken  prisoners,  as 
well  as  twenty  guns,  thousands  of  small  arms,  and 
thirty  standards.  The  guns  were  immediately 
turned  against  their  previous  possessors,  who  were 
chased  through  the  woods  towards  Spottsylvania 
Court  House,  until  they  gained  safety  in  another 
line  of  earthworks.  Simultaneously  with  Hancock's 
attack,  the  two  sides  of  the  entrenchments  had  been 
assailed  bv  Warren  and  Burnside,  but  with  less  sue- 
cess. 

Lee  made  vigorous  attem.pts  to  recapture  the 
salient  anfle,  and  the  fight  was  kept  up  till  past 


THE  WILDERNESS.  365 

midnight,  when  he  was  compelled  to  retire  to  his  in- 
terior line.  The  carnage  was  terrible.  The  dead 
were  not  only  piled  in  heaps,  but  their  bodies  were 
torn  and  mangled  by  the  shots  which  continued  to 
be  fired ;  every  tree  or  bush  was  cut  down  or  riddled 
by  the  balls.  The  Federal  loss  amounted  to  thir- 
teen thousand  six  hundred  and  the  Confederate  loss 
was  about  equal  in  number. 

After  this  Grant  a2:ain  determined  to  move  bv  his 
left,  and  to  reach  the  Xorth  Anna  Eiver.  He 
wished  to  engage  the  enemy  without  their  having 
the  great  advantage  of  entrenchments.  He  there- 
fore sent  Hancock's  corps  towards  Richmond,  hoping 
that  Lee  would  attack  it  with  his  whole  army,  upon 
which  the  otlier  corps  would  come  up  and  fall  upon 
the  enemy  before  they  had  time  to  entrench.  Han- 
cock's corps  marched  on  the  night  of  May  20,  fol- 
lowed by  Warren's  corps  twelve  hours  later,  and  by 
the  corps  of  Burnside  and  Wright  at  a  similar  in- 
terval of  time.  The  Confederates  were,  however, 
able  to  defend  their  capital  by  moving  in  a  shorter 
line.  Having  effected  this  they  took  up  a  very 
strong  position.  Their  line  extended  for  a  mile  and 
a  half  from  Little  River  to  the  Korth  Anna  River 
at  Oxford,  then  down  stream  for  three-quarters  of  a 
mile,  and  then  in  a  straight  line  to  Hanover  Junc- 
tion. The  Confederate  line,  forming  itself  in  a 
curve,  touched  the  Xorth  Anna  where  it  also  makes 
a  curve  in  such  a  wav  that  the  tAvo  curves  met  at  a 
point  from  which  they  both  receded  in  opposite  di- 
rections. This  critical  position  was  assailed  by  Burn- 
side,  who  endeavoured  to  force  a  passage,  but  he  was 
prevented  from  doing  so  by  very  strong  entrench- 
ments. Further  advances  were  made  by  the  left 
flank,  and  at  last  the  two  armies  were  opposed  to 


366  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

each  other  at  Cold  Harbour,  about  eight  or  ten  miles 
from  Richmond.  An  attack  was  planned  for  June 
3,  but  the  enemv's  artillery  was  skilfully  placed,  and 
it  was  impossible  to  proceed  further  than  the  first 
line.  The  struggle  continued  in  and  about  Cold 
Harbour  during  the  first  twelve  days  of  June,  and 
the  Federal  loss  amounted  to  10,058,  the  Con- 
federate loss  being  much  smaller. 

Once  more  Grant  determined  to  move  by  his  left 
flank  and  to  pass  his  army  across  the  James  River 
and  invest  Richmond  from  the  south,  attempting  to 
gain  possession  of  Petersburg,  which  was  the  centre 
of  its  railway  communication. 

Grant,  whose  reputation  had  suffered  from  the 
fatal  attack  of  June  3,  performed  this  difficult 
operation  with  masterly  skill,  having  to  withdraw 
his  armv  from  the  front  of  the  enemv,  march  it 
fifty  miles,  cross  two  rivers  and  bring  it  into  a  new 
position.  As  a  preparation  for  the  movement  he 
made  a  demonstration  with  his  cavalry  on  the  James 
River  above  Richmond,  constructed  a  line  of  en- 
trenchments from  his  position  at  Cold  Harbour  close 
to  the  point  where  he  expected  to  cross,  and  sunk 
vessels  loaded  with  stone  in  the  stream  of  the  James 
River  in  order  to  prevent  Confederate  gunboats  from 

hindering  the  passage. 

Grant  left  Cold  Harbour  on  June  12,  and  at  noon 
on  the  following  day  a  pontoon  bridge  was  thrown 
across  the  Chickahominy,  fifteen  miles  away,  by 
which  Wilson's  cavalry  crossed.  On  June  14  the 
whole  army  had  reached  the  James  River.  A  pon- 
toon bridge  was  then  thrown  across  the  wide  stream, 
and  by  June  17  the  whole  of  Grant's  army  was  on 
the  other  side.  Thus  an  army  of  more  than  one  hun- 
dred thousand  men  had  been  removed  from  trenches 


THE  WILDERNESS.  367 

which  were  only  a  few  yards  from  the  enemy,  carried 
with  all  its  baggage  across  two  rivers,  and  placed 
in  a  position  to  threaten  the  enemy's  capital  from  the 
other  side  without  any  mishap.  There  were  some 
who  thought  that  after  this  feat  of  generalship  and 
the  substantial  advantages  gained  by  it  the  Con- 
federate cause  was  hopeless  and  that  peace  ought  to 
be  made. 


338  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEE  LV 


Sherman's  march. 


We  have  said  above  that  it  was  part  of  Grant's 
])lan,  when  he  assnmed  command  of  the  United 
States  army,  that  Sherman  should  move  southwards 
from  Chattanooga,  and  capture  Atlanta,  thus  strik- 
ing at  the  Confederacy  in  a  direction  where  it  had 
never  been  assailed,  and  taking  a  city  important  as 
a  railway  centre  and  as  a  manufacturing  place  of 
military  supplies.  The  distance  between  these  two 
points,  in  a  straight  line,  is  a  hundred  miles,  and  the 
road  was  defended  by  General  Johnston  at  Dalton 
with  an  army  of  about  43,150  infantry,  cavalry,  and 
artillery.  To  meet  this  Sherman  had  a  force  of 
about  one  hundred  thousand  men. 

Sherman  left  Chattanooga  on  May  5,  the  very 
day  that  Grant  entered  the  Wilderness,  and  followed 
the  line  of  railway  to  Atlanta.  Johnston  had  forti- 
fied a  position  on  the  railway,  called  Tunnel  Hill, 
so  Sherman  was  unable  to  march  straight  to  Dal- 
ton, but  was  oljliged  to  detach  a  force  to  his  right 
to  pass  through  the  hills  and  strike  at  Resaca,  thiis 
cutting  the  railway  over  which  Johnston  drew  his 
supplies.  McPherson,  who  commanded  this  de- 
tachment, found  Resaca  fortified  and  was  afraid  to 
attack,  and  when  Sherman  came  up  he  discovered 
that  Johnston  had  retired  from  Dalton  to  Resaca 
and  was  established  there  in  a  strong  position.  Sher- 
man eventually  gained  possession  of  Resaca  without 


SHERMAN'S  MARCH.  3G9 

a  battle,  and  five  davs  later  reached  Kingston,  where 
he  halted  to  get  his  army  well  together,  supply  .'t 
with  provisions,  and  repair  the  railroad  in  his  rear. 
Advancing  further  south,  but  bending  towards  the 
right,  his  forces  came  into  conflict  with  those  of 
Johnston  at  Xew  Hope  Church,  where  there  was  con- 
tinuous fighting  for  six  days,  the  general  advantage 
being  with  Sherman.  When  the  month  of  May  came 
to  an  end  it  was  found  that  with  the  loss  of  ten 
thousand  men  on  each  side,  Sherman  had  successive- 
ly stormed  strong  positions  and  was  gradually  draw- 
ing nearer  to  Atlanta. 

For  the  first  fortnight  of  June  the  two  armies 
remained  opposite  to  each  other  at  Pine  Mountain, 
crossing  the  railway  above  Marietta.  Here  General 
Polk  was  killed,  who  had  passed  through  a  strange 
career.  He  had  been  educated  for  a  soldier  at  West 
Point,  but  afterwards  studied  theology,  and  at  the 
outbreak  of  the  war  was  Protestant  Bishop  of 
Louisiana.  On  June  27  Sherman  made  a  vigorous 
attempt  to  capture  Johnston's  position  in  the  battle 
of  Kenesaw,  but  it  ended  in  failure  and  the  loss  of 
twenty-five  hundred  men,  while  the  loss  on  the  other 
side  was  only  a  little  over  eight  hundred.  He  there- 
fore determined  to  sacrifice  his  communications,  to 
leave  the  railway,  taking  ten  days'  provisions  in 
waggons,  and  move  his  whole  army  southward  to 
attack  below  Marietta.  This  would  compel  John- 
ston either  to  retire  to  Atlanta  or  to  come  out  to  bat- 
tle. Py  this  manoeuvre  Johnston  was  eventually 
forced  behind  Chattachoochee,  and  was  superseded 
by  Hood,  who  was  a  far  less  formidable  antagonist. 

The  result  of  this  was  the  battle  of  Atlanta,  which 
consisted  chieflv  of  vigorous  assaults  bravelv  re- 
pulsed,  but  without  any  decisive  result.    Eventuallv, 

24: 


370  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

after  trying  tlie  effect  of  cavalry  raids,  which  were 
not  very  successful,  Sherman  succeeded  in  swinging 
his  army  into  a  position  south  of  Atlanta,  where  they 
tore  up  the  railroad,  rendering  it  useless,  and  then 
advanced  to  the  city,  which  eventually  fell  on  Sep- 
temhor  2,  1864,  having  cost  four  months  of  hard 
fighting  and  clever  strategy  to  win. 

Sherman  remained  at  Atlanta  for  some  time,  and 
whilst  he  was  there  Lincoln  was  re-elected  President 
by  a  large  majority,  being  opposed  by  General  Mc- 
Clellan.  There  are  many  reasons  why  this  election 
should  have  been  the  wisest  course,  but  perhaps  the 
best  of  them  was  given  bv  Lincoln  himself,  who  a 
day  or  two  after  his  nomination  replied  to  the  ad- 
dress of  a  delegation  in  the  following  words :  "  I 
have  not  permitted  myself  to  conclude  that  I  am  the 
best  man  in  the  country,  but  I  am  reminded  in  this 
connection  of  the  story  of  an  old  Dutch  farmer  who 
once  remarked  to  a  companion  that  it  was  not  best 
to  swap  horses  when  crossing  streams." 

Before  Sherman  had  been  a  week  in  Atlanta  he 
determined  to  send  away  all  the  civil  inhabitants 
of  the  city,  offering  them  the  choice  of  proceeding 
either  north  or  south,  and  furnishing  means  of  trans- 
port for  a  certain  distance.  He  gave  a  reason  for  this 
rather  severe  measure  that  he  was  resolved  to  make 
Atlanta  a  purely  military  garrison  or  depot,  with 
no  civil  population  to  influence  military  measures. 
By  the  beginning  of  November  Sherman  had,  in 
council  with  the  President  and  General  Grant,  de- 
termined upon  his  great  march  through  Georgia, 
from  Atlanta  to  Savannah  on  the  sea,  which  eventu- 
ally put  an  end  to  the  war.  Sherman  was  at  this 
time  threatened  by  the  Confederate  General  Hoodj 
who  was  on  the  south  of  Atlanta,  and  who  might  at 


SHERMANS  MARCH.  3Y1 

any  time  attack  the  railway  and  sever  Sherman's 
communications  with  Chattanooga.  Indeed,  Grant 
was  of  opinion  that  the  march  should  not  be  under- 
taken until  Hood's  army  had  been  destroyed,  but 
he  eventually  came  to  agree  with  the  opinion  of  Sher- 
man, and  the  care  of  defending  Tennessee  against 
Hood  was  committed  to  General  Thomas.  Sherman 
made  careful  preparations  for  his  enterprise,  and 
sent  to  the  north  all  the  sick  and  disabled  men  and 
all  baggage  that  could  be  spared.  When  the  last 
train  had  passed  over  the  railroad  to  Chattanooga, 
the  rails  w'cre  pulled  up  and  destroyed,  the  bridges 
burned,  the  electric  wires  pulled  do\^T;i,  and  all  re- 
maining troops  concentrated  in  Atlanta.  On  Novem- 
ber 2  Sherman  left  Atlanta,  and  nothing  was  heard  of 
him  for  six  weeks. 

Sherman  had  now  at  his  disposal  55,329  infantry, 
5,063  cavalry,  1,812  artillery  and  68  guns.  There 
were  four  teams  of  horses  to  each  gun,  with  its 
caisson  and  forage,  six  hundred  ambulances,  each 
drawn  by  tw^o  horses,  twenty-five  hundred  waggons 
with  six  mules  to  each.  Every  soldier  carried  forty 
rounds  of  ammunition,  and  a  plentiful  supply  of 
wheat  was  carried  in  the  waggons,  as  well  as  1,200,- 
000  rations  with  oats  and  corn  enough  to  last  five 
days.  The  army  was  chiefly  composed  of  veteran 
troops  and  each  of  them  had  confidence  in  the  abili- 
ties of  "  Uncle  Billv,"  their  leader.  The  march 
began  on  November  15,  and  the  goal  was  nearly 
three  hundred  miles  distant.  The  infantry  consisted 
of  four  corjis,  two  to  each  wing.  The  right  v/ing 
was  commanded  by  General  Howard,  and  the  left 
by  General  Slocum,  the  cavalry  being  under  the 
command  of  General  Kirkpatrick.  The  two  wings 
marched  by  parallel  routes,  generally  a  few  miles 


872  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY, 

apart,  each  oorjis  having  its  own  proportion  of  cav- 
alry and  trains. 

Minnte  orders  were  given  for  tlie  conduct  of  the 
troops  during  the  march.  "  The  habitual  order  of 
march  will  be,  whenevei-  practicable,  by  four  roads, 
a-s  nearly  parallel  as  possible.  The  separate  columns 
will  start  habitually  at  7  a.m.  and  make  about  fifteen 
miles  a  day.  Behind  each  regiment  should  follow 
one  waggon  and  one  ambulance.  Army  command- 
ers should  practise  the  habit  of  giving  the  artillery 
and  waggons  the  road,  marching  the  troops  on  one 
side.  To  this  end  each  brigade  commander  will 
organise  a  good  and  sufficient  foraging  party,  who 
will  gather  corn  or  forage  of  any  kind,  meat  of  any 
kind,  vegetables,  corn,  meal,  or  whatever  is  needed 
by  the  command,  aiming  at  all  times  to  keep  in  the 
waggons  at  least  ten  days'  provisions.  Soldiers  must 
not  enter  dwellings  or  conmiit  any  trespass ;  but  dur- 
ing a  halt  or  camp  they  may  be  permitted  to  gather 
turnips,  potatoes  and  other  vegetables,  and  to  drive 
in  stock  in  sight  of  their  camp.  To  corps  command- 
ers alone  is  entrusted  the  power  to  destroy  mills, 
houses,  cotton,  guns,  etc.  When  the  army  is  unmo- 
lested no  destruction  of  such  projierty  should  be 
permitted;  but  should  guerillas  or  bushwhackers 
molest  our  march,  or  should  the  inhabitants  burn 
bridges,  obstruct  roads,  or  otherwise  manifest  local 
hostility,  the  armv  commanders  should  make  and 
enforce  a  devastation  more  or  less  relentless,  accord- 
ing to  tlie  measure  of  svich  hostility.  As  for  horses, 
mules,  and  waggons  belonging  to  the  inhabitants, 
the  cavalry  and  artillery  may  appropriate  freely  and 
without  limit,  discriminating,  however,  between  the 
rich,  who  are  usually  hostile,  and  the  poor  and  in- 
dustrious, usually  neutral  or  friendly.     In  all  forag- 


SHERMAN'S  MARCH.  373 

ing,  the  parties  engaged  will  endeavour  to  leave 
with  each  family  a  reasonable  portion  for  their  main- 
tenance." 

Following  these  instructions,  the  army  marched 
from  day  to  day,  occupying  a  space  from  forty  to 
sixty  miles  wide.  The  wealthier  inhabitants,  gen- 
erally, made  their  escape,  but  the  negroes  swarmed 
after  tlie  army,  believing  that  the  day  of  Jubilee 
had  come.  The  foraging  parties  went  out  for  miles 
on  each  side,  gathering  large  quantities  of  provisions 
and  bringing  them  to  the  line  of  march,  where  each 
stood  guard  over  his  pile  till  his  own  brigade  came 
along ;  flankers  were  thrown  out  on  either  side,  pass- 
ing through  the  woods  to  prevent  any  surprise  by 
the  enemy.  There  was  scarcely  any  fighting  except 
within  a  few  miles  of  Savannah  and  at  the  citv  itself, 
in  tlie  capture  of  Fort  Me  \lister.  The  city  was  oc- 
cupied en  December  21,  and  Sherman  wrote  to  the 
President :  "  I  beg  to  present  you  as  a  Christmas 
gift  the  city  of  Savannah,  with  one  hundred  and 
fifty  heavy  guns  and  plenty  of  ammunition,  also 
about  twenty-five  thousand  bales  of  cotton."  Sher- 
man's entire  loss  during  the  march  was  only  764 
men. 

Sherman^s  successful  march  may  be  regarded  as 
the  beginning  of  the  end,  if  indeed  it  was  not  the 
end  itself.  Grant's  first  idea  had  been  to  remove  the 
victorious  army  by  sea  to  the  James  Eiver,  and 
place  it  where  it  could  act  in  connection  with  the 
army  of  the  Potomac  against  Petersburg  and  Eich- 
mond,  but  it  was  thought  better,  on  second  thought, 
to  organise  a  march  through  the  Carolinas.  The 
Confederate  army  was  suffering  severely  from  want 
of  supplies,  the  region  across  the  Mississippi  had  been 
cut  off;  the  seaports  were  strongly  blockaded,  the 


374  Wars  of  the  century. 

Shenandoali  Valley  had  been  desolated  by  Sheri- 
dan, and  Georgia  by  Sherman.  If  the  Carolinas  were 
treated  in  the  same  way  Lee's  position  before  Rich- 
mond wonld  become  uid)earable. 

The  march  northwards  towards  Columbia  was  be- 
gun on  February  1,  1805 ;  it  was  more  difficult  and 
dangerous  than  the  ])revious  march  and  required 
more  military  skill.  Many  rivers  had  to  be  crossed, 
and  there  was  danger  of  being  attacked  both  by  Hood 
and  Lee.  Sherman  took  measures  for  securing  the 
co-o])eration  of  the  fleet  along  the  coast,  which 
watched  his  progress,  established  points  where  sup- 
plies could  be  obtained  and  offered  a  place  of  refuge 
if  it  were  needed.  Columbia  was  captured  on  Feb- 
ruary 17  without  opposition,  and  Charleston  was 
evacuated  on  the  following  day. 

Leaving  Columbia  on  February  20,  Sherman's 
army  marched  for  Fayetteville,  the  right  wing  pass- 
ing through  Chcraw,  where  a  great  deal  of  property 
was  destroyed  and  much  arms  and  munition  cap- 
tured. Reaching  Fayetteville  on  March  11,  Sher- 
man was  aide  to  open  communication  with  General 
Terry,  who  had  captured  Fort  Fisher  below  Wil- 
mington in  January  and  afterwards  the  city  itself. 
The  last  battle  engaged  by  this  army  was  fought  at 
Bentonville  on  the  way  to  Goldsboro',  where  the  Con- 
federates were  entrenched  across  the  roi^d  and  were 
commanded  by  General  Johnston.  The  battle  was 
won  by  the  Federals  with  a  loss  of  1,60-4  men,  the 
loss  of  the  other  side  being  2,342,  and  Sherman 
reached  Goldsboro'  on  the  direct  road  to  Petersburg 
and  Riclimond.  He  was  joined  by  Schofleld's  corps, 
which  had  been  transferred  from  the  army  com- 
manded by  General  Thomas. 

In  the  meantime  the  other  portions  of  Grant's  plan 


SHERMAN'S  MARCH.  375 

were  being  gradually  carried  out.  Late  in  February/; 
Sheridan  with  ten  thousand  cavalry  moved  up  the 
Shenandoah  Valley  and  defeated  General  Early, 
capturing  eighteen  hundred  men,  all  his  guns  and 
trains,  and  then  joined  Grant  on  the  James  River. 
Grant  at  the  head  of  the  army  of  the  Potomac  was 
opposed  to  Lee,  who  was  defending  Eichmond  and 
Petersburg.  The  decisive  battle  was  fought  on  the 
two  first  days  of  April,  1865.  Sheridan,  wdio  was 
posted  at  Dinwiddle  Court  House,  w^as  ordered  by 
Grant  to  attack  the  Confederate  right  at  Five  Forks. 
The  movement  was  at  first  unsuccessful,  but  after  re- 
ceiving reinforcements  Sheridan  was  able  to  take 
Five  Forks,  with  a  loss  of  one  thousand  men,  five 
thousand  prisoners  being  captured. 

On  Sunday,  April  2,  Gj-ant  made  an  attack  upon 
Lee's  centre  with  two  corps,  and  broke  through  the 
Confederate  lines.  Sheridan  moved  up  on  the  left, 
and  consequently  the  outer  defences  of  Petersburg 
were  in  the  possession  of  the  Federal  forces,  who  com- 
pletely encircled  the  city.  Petersburg  is  only  twenty- 
three  miles  from  Richmond,  and  Lee  now  sent  a  tele- 
graphic despatch  to  the  capital  saying  that  both 
cities  must  be  evacuated.  The  news  reached  Rich- 
mond at  the  hour  of  the  morning  service,  and  the 
greatest  confusion  prevailed.  All  the  liquor  on  which 
hands  could  be  laid  w^as  poured  into  the  gutter,  the 
great  tobacco  warehouses  were  set  on  fire,  and  the 
iron-clad  rams  in  the  river  were  blown  up.  The  next 
morning  the  city  was  taken  possession  of  by  a  de- 
tachment of  black  troops  belonging  to  the  Federal 
army. 

Lee  now  retreated  to  the  west.  Grant  following  in 
close  pursuit,  and  moving  to  the  south  in  a  parallel 
line,  daring  which  many  engagements  took  place,  in 
one  of  which  Ewell  and  the  whole  of  his  corps  was 


376  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

captured.  After  a  week  of  tliis  warfare  Lee  reached 
Appoiuatox  Court  House,  and  here  his  further  prog- 
ress was  stopped  by  a  large  Federal  force.  On 
A])ril  9,  18(15,  Grant  and  Lee  arranged  the  surrender 
of  tlie  army  of  Virginia,  the  terms  being  that  the  men 
were  to  lay  down  their  arms  and  return  to  their 
homes,  and  that  they  should  not  be  molested  so  long 
as  they  did  not  again  take  up  arms  against  the  United 
States.  They  were  even  permitted  to  take  their 
horses  with  them  for  the  reason  that  they  would  need 
them  for  the  ploughing.  The  number  of  ofheers 
and  men  included  in  the  surrender  was  28,365. 
General  Johnston,  who  was  opposed  to  Sherman  in 
Xoi'th  Carolina,  surrendered  in  a  similar  manner 
at  Durham  Station  near  Raleigh  on  April  26,  receiv- 
ing the  same  terms  which  had  been  granted  to  Lee, 
the  number  included  in  the  capitulation  being 
greater  than  those  under  Lee,  reaching  the  amount 
of  36,817,  besides  52,453  who  were  in  Georgia  and 
Florida.  The  surrender  of  the  remaining  Confed- 
erate armies  was  completed  b}'  the  end  of  May, 
Jeiferson  Davis,  who  had  been  President  of  the  Con- 
federate TJepublic,  having  himself  been  taken 
prisoner  on  ^lay  11. 

The  war  was  now  at  an  end,  but  before  the  final 
triumph  was  consummated,  the  man  to  whom  more 
than  to  any  one  else  victory  had  been  due  was  basely 
ijiurdered  on  April  15,  1865,  He  had  lived  to  enter 
the  captured  city  of  Richmond,  to  see  the  authority 
of  the  United  States  extended  again  over  the  whole 
country,  luit  at  the  moment  when,  by  the  inscrutable 
designs  of  Providence,  he  was  removed  from  the 
scene  of  his  labours,  the  people  were  in  need  of  his 
genius  as  much  as  ever  for  the  solution  of  the  new 
problems^  caused  by  the  war  and  by  the  victory, 
which  continued  to  press  for  settlement. 


PART  TWELVE. 

THE    WAR    OF    18G6. 


CHAPTER  LVI. 

THE   INVASION"   or   SAXONY. 

TnE  comparative  strengtli  of  the  belligerents  at 
the  outbreak  of  the  war  of  1866  between  Prussia 
and  Austria  has  been  estimated  by  a  competent  ob- 
server in  tlie  following  manner.  The  Prussian  army 
consisted  of  eight  corps  d'annee  of  troops  of  the  line, 
and  of  the  corps  d'armee  of  the  guard,  each  corps 
d'armee  consisting  of  two  divisions  of  infantry,  one 
division  of  cavalry,  sixteen  batteries  of  artillery, 
and   a   militarv  train.       Each   division   of   infantrv 

*j  «... 

was  composed  of  two  brigades,  each  brigade  of  two 
regiments,  and  each  regiment  of  three  battalions. 
Further,  each  division  had  a  regiment  of 
cavalry,  consisting  of  four  squadrons,  and  -a 
division  of  artillery  of  four  batteries,  so  that 
every  infantry  general  commanding  a  division  had 
under  his  command  twelve  battalions,  four  squadrons 
and  four  batteries,  A  cavalry  division  consisted  of 
two  brigades,  each  containing  two  regiments,  and 
every  regiment  four  squadrons ;  it  had  also  attached 
to  it  two  batteries  of  horse  artillery.  The  reserve 
of  artillerv  consisted  of  one  division  of  field  artillery, 

377 


378  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

forming  four  batteries,  and  of  two  batteries  of  horse 
artillery,  besides  an  artillery  train  for  the  supply  of 
annnunition.  Thus  a  corps  d'armee  had  twenty- 
four  battalions  of  infantry,  twenty-four  squadrons 
of  cavalrv  and  sixteen  batteries  of  artillery,  besides 
a  battalion  of  rifles  and  one  of  engineers,  and  pon- 
toon trains,  and  a  large  military  train  for  the  pur- 
pose of  hospital  service  and  of  commissariat. 

A  corps  d'armee  might  thus  be  reckoned  as  con- 
sisting of  26,000  infantry  and  about  3,300  cavalry^ 
together  with  2,300  artillery,  in  all  31,000.  The 
corps  d'armee  of  the  guard  was  larger  by  about  5,000 
men.  Thus,  at  the  beginning  of  the  war,  the  total 
infantry  consisted  of  253,506  men,  the  total  cavalry 
30,000  men,  and  the  total  of  field  artillery  864  guns, 
together  with  0,018  pioneers  and  11,034  of  military 
trains.  To  these  must  be  added  the  depot  troops 
numbering  100,512  with  228  guns  and  13,000  depot 
officers,  making  a  total  of  473,600  men  with  100,000 
horses  and  1,092  guns. 

The  Austrian  army  at  the  outbreak  of  the  war  con- 
sisted of  80  infantry  rco-iments  of  the  line  and  1 
Imperial  regiment,  32  battalions  of  field  Jiigers,  14 
Border  infantry  regiments,  1  Border  infantry  bat- 
talion ;  the  cayalry  comprised  12  regimentsof  Cuiras- 
siers, 29  of  Dragoons,  14  of  Hussars  and  13  of 
Uhlans ;  the  artillery,  12  regiments,  besides  one  for 
coast  defences ;  besides  these  there  were  2  regiments 
of  Engineers,  6  battalions  of  Pioneers,  10  Sanitary 
companies  and  48  Transport  squadrons,  not  counting 
troops  for  provincial  defence.  The  whole  number 
of  avail.ible  infantry  was  321.410;  of  cavalry,  26,- 
621;  of  artillery,  24,600,  with  1,036  guns;  and  of 
special  troops,  11,194,  making  a  total  of  383,556 
men.    "We  will  defer  the  consideration  of  the  strength 


THE  INVASION  OF  SAXONY.  379 

of  the  other  German  States  and  of  Italy  until  they 
respectively  enter  on  the  scene  of  action. 

Prussia  commenced  her  preparations  for  war  on 
March  27,  1866,  by  placing  live  divisions  upon  a  war 
footing,  strengthening  five  brigades  of  artillery,  and 
arming  the  fortresses  in  Silesia  and  the  province  of 
Saxony.  The  mobilisation  of  the  whole  army  was 
decreed  on  May  7,  and  on  May  19  troops  were  con- 
centrated in  Silesia,  Thuringia,  and  Lusatia.  On 
June  1  the  coi^ps  d'armee  of  the  guard  was  sent  to 
Silesia,  and  other  troops  to  Halle,  a  reserve  corps 
being  formed  at  Berlin.  There  were  three  main 
Prussian  armies,  besides  the  reserve  at  Berlin;  the 
First  army  under  Prince  Frederick  Charles,  whicli 
was  posted  at  Hoyerswerda  and  Gorlitz  in  Lusatia, 
the  Second  army  under  the  Crown  Prince  of  Prus- 
sia, posted  in  Silesia,  and  the  ami}'  of  the  Elbe.  By 
June  15  Prussia  had  prepared  troops  for  the  in- 
vasion of  Saxony,  Hanover,  and  Cassel. 

On  ]\ray  18  the  command  of  the  Austrian  army  of 
the  north  was  assumed  by  Field-Marshal  Benodek, 
the  seven  corps  d'armee  and  five  divisions  of  which  it 
was  composed  being  spread  between  Cracow  and  the 
Elbe,  along  the  principal  lines  of  railway.  The 
Austrian  army  of  the  south  consisted  of  three  corps 
d'armee,  under  the  command  of  Archduke  Albrechr, 
part  of  it  being  in  eastern  Venetia  and  Istria  and 
part  holding  the  Quadrilateral  formed  by  the  four 
great  fortresses  of  Peschiera  and  Mantua,  Verona 
and  Legnano.  A  third  Austrian  corps  d'armee  under 
Archduke  Ernest  was  to  be  used  as  a  general  reserve 
which  might  be  directed  against  Italy  or  sent  into 
Bohemia  as  circumstances  required. 

The  total  strength  of  the  Italian  armv  in  the  field 
consisted   of   202,720    infantry,    25,120   Bersaglieri 


380  AVARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

with  480  pjuiis  aiui  13,000  cavalry.  It  was  divided 
into  four  corps  d'armee,  the  first  under  the  command 
of  Durando  being  at  Lodi,  the  second  under  Cuchiari 
at  Cremona,  the  third  under  Delhi  Rocca  at  Pia- 
cenza  and  the  fourth  under  Ciahlini  at  Bologna. 
As  Italy  did  not  declare  war  against  Austria  till 
June  20  we  may  neglect  the  operations  of  the  Italian 
army  for  the  })resent. 

The  army  of  Saxony  had  been  mobilised  and  w^as 
by  the  end  of  the  first  fortnight  of  June  ready  to  take 
the  field.  Its  main  strength  was  in  Dresden  and 
Pirna.  It  consisted  of  19,752  infantry,  3,217  cav- 
alry, and  70  guns,  as  well  as  a  company  of  engineers 
and  two  of  pioneers.  The  army  of  Hanover,  wdiich 
contained  eighteen  thousand  infantry  and  three  thou- 
sand cavah'y,  was  totally  unprepared  for  war,  and 
was  garrisoned,  for  the  most  part,  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Hanover. 

On  the  evening  of  June  15  Prussia  declared  war 
against  Hanover,  Hesse-Cassel,  and  Saxony.  This 
event  caused  great  excitement  in  Hanover,  and  it 
was  determined  to  save  the  army  by  a  movement 
towards  the  south,  so  that  it  might  unite  with  the 
Bavarians.  The  blind  King  of  Hanover  collected 
his  troops  round  G(»ttingen,  but  it  was  unable  to  move 
from  want  of  organisation.  If  preparations  had 
])een  made  in  time  it  might  have  pushed  on  to  Cassel 
and  then  to  the  south,  but  it  had  to  submit  to  a  catas- 
trophe which  will  be  related  in  its  proper  place.  On 
receiving  the  same  news  the  army  of  Ilesse-Cassel 
retreated,  reaching  Hanau  on  June  19  and  securing 
its  communication  with  the  eighth  corps  of  the  Fed- 
eral army  at  Frankfort.  This  corps,  under  the  com- 
iTiand  of  Prince  Alexander  of  Hesse,  consisted  of 
fifty-three  thousand  infantry,  thirty-three  squadrons 


THE  INVASION  OF  SAXONY.  381 


of  cavalry,  and  one  hundred  and  fourteen  guns.  It 
was  composed  of  troops  from  Wiirtemberg,  Baden, 
Hesse-Darmstadt,  and  Nassau,  as  well  as  an  Aus- 
trian division  of  twelve  thousand  men. 

General  Bayer  invaded  Hesse-Cassel  at  2  a.m.  on 
June  16,  with  seventeen  thousand  men.  At  Giessen 
he  issued  a  proclamation  saying  that  Prussia  had 
been  compelled  to  declare  war  against  the  Elector, 
and  that  his  operations  were  not  directed  against  the 
country.  He  reached  Cassel  on  June  19,  and  found 
the  Elector  in  the  Palace  of  Wilhelmshohe.  The 
Elector  was  made  a  prisoner  of  war  and  was  con- 
fined in  the  Prussian  fortress  of  Stettin. 

It  had  been  arranged  that  Saxony  should  be  in- 
vaded by  two  corps,  the  army  of  the  Elbe  and  the 
First  army,  one  advancing  from  the  north,  the  other 
from  the  east.  The  Saxon  army  began  its  retreat 
on  the  evening  of  June  1,  proceeding  towards  Bo- 
hemia by  way  of  Bodenbach  in  order  to  join  the  Aus- 
trians.  The  two  Prussian  armies  converging  on 
the  capital  entered  it  without  opposition  on  the  after- 
noon of  June  IS,  and  in  two  davs  the  whole  countrv 
was  occupied,  with  the  exception  of  the  fortress  of 
Konigstein.  We  are  told  by  an  eyewitness  that  the 
Prussian  troops  were  well  received  by  the  popula- 
tion, and  that  had  it  not  been  for  the  swords  and 
bayonets  of  patrols  which  glittered  in  the  sun  along 
every  road,  the  scene  would  have  been  one  of  per- 
fect peace.  The  soldiers  helped  the  peasants  to  carry 
the  hay  harvest,  worked  in  the  cottage  gardens,  spent 
money  in  the  village  shops ;  the  bare-legged  country 
urchins  got  rides  on  the  cavalry  or  artillery  horses 
as  they  went  to  be  watered,  or  were  invited  to  peep 
into  the  muzzle  of  a  rifled  gun,  and  only  if  some  ad- 
venturous child  ventured  to  place  a  handful  of  corn- 


382  "WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

flowers  in  the  inoutli  of  a  cannon  was  lie  warned  off 
the  battery  by  the  sentry.  Passenger  traffic  on  the 
railways  Avas  soon  resumed, and  telegraphic  messages 
were  regularly  delivered. 

The  occupation  of  the  kingdom  of  Saxony  gave  the 
Prussians  very  great  advantage.  They  were  able  to 
attack  the  Austrians  on  a  narrow  front  if  they  came 
out  of  the  mountains  and  an  invasion  of  Bohemia 
became  possible.  This  step  naturally  caused  a  decla- 
ration of  war  on  the  jiart  of  Austria,  which  had  not 
been  prepared  for  the  celerity  of  the  Prussian  move- 
ments. Benedek  had  concentrated  his  army  in  such 
a  way  as  to  be  able  to  strike  a  deadly  blow  at  the 
heart  of  the  Prussian  kingdom,  while  he  was  sup- 
ported on  the  flank  by  the  Bavarians  and  the  other 
troops  of  the  federation.  But  this  scheme  had  now 
been  rendered  impossible.  Instead  of  setting  Saxony 
free  by  a  rapid  march  and  dictating  peace  in  Berlin, 
the  Austrian  Field-Marshal  saw  three  Prussian 
armies  march  through  the  passes  of  the  mountains 
into  north-eastern  Bohemia.  The  Austrian  prepara- 
tions were  not  pushed  forward  with  that  speed  and 
eners'v  which  characterised  the  Prussians  and  the 
commanders  were  without  any  clear  plans  and  were 
insufficiently  equipped.  At  the  same  time  the  north- 
ern army  of  the  alliss  was  nearly  equal  in  strength 
to  the  united  forces  of  Prussia,  and  the  whole 
strength  of  the  confederation  was  visibly  superior  to 
them.  The  confederation  had  been  further  strength- 
ened by  the  adhesion  of  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Baden, 
so  that  fifteen  thousand  fresh  troops  were  added  to 
the  eight  corps,  which,  as  we  have  said,  was  under 
the  command  of  Prince  Alexander  of  Hesse. 


THE  BATTLE  OF  KUNIGGRATZ.  383 


CHAPTER  LVII. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  KOXIGGRATZ. 

On  June  22  Prince  Frederick  Charles  broke  up 
his  quarters  at  Gorlitz  and  marched  towards  the 
Austrian  frontier  by  the  two  roads  leading  through 
Zittau  and  Seidenberg,  the  frontier  being  crossed 
on  the  following  dav.  At  the  same  time  General 
Herwarth  von  Bitterfeld,  in  command  of  the  armv  of 
the  Elbe,  marched  bj  the  high-r^ad  from  Schlucheim 
to  Rumburg.  Reichenberg  was  occupied  on  June 
24,  and  the  possession  of  this  place  enabled  Prince 
Frederick  Charles  to  open  communications  with  the 
Silesian  and  Saxon  lines  of  railway,  which  were  of 
great  importance  for  the  commissariat.  The  first 
action  of  any  importance  took  place  at  Podol  upon 
the  Iser,  which  is  here  about  one  hundred  yards  wide. 
It  did  not  begin  till  8  p.m.,  when  the  evening  was 
closing  in,  and  it  continued  into  the  night,  every 
house  in  the  village  being  obstinately  disputed.  At 
last  both  the  town  bridge  and  the  railway  bridge 
were  captured  by  the  Prussians,  and  the  Austrians 
drew  off  sullenly  on  the  road  to  Miinchengratz.  The 
last  dropping  shots  did  not  cease  till  4  a.m.,  when 
there  were  no  Austrian  soldiers  within  three  miles 
of  the  bridges,  except  the  wounded  and  the  prison- 
ers, ^o  artillery  was  engaged  on  either  side,  and  the 
Prussians  owed  much  of  their  success  to  their  breech- 
loading  rifles. 

Bj  the  retreat  of  the  Austrians  to  Miinchengratz 


384:  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

full  communication  was  opened  between  the  army 
of  Prince  Frederick  Charles  and  that  of  the  Elbe, 
and  the  two  armies  were  able  on  the  following  day 
to  take  possession  of  the  whole  line  of  the  Iser.  A 
combat  took  place  at  ^Miinchengriitz,  but  Prince  Fred- 
erick Charles,  by  a  series  of  tactical  movements,  and 
the  loss  of  only  one  hundred  men,  gained  twelve 
miles  of  country,  captured  one  thousand  prisoners, 
and  effected  his  second  juncture  with  the  corps  of 
Bitterfeld,  the  headquarters  of  both  armies  being 
established  in  the  same  town.  A  more  serious  battle 
took  place  at  Gitschin  on  June  29,  about  tAventy  miles 
distant  from  Miincheuffriitz.  The  Austrians  were 
strongly  posted,  their  artillery  and  sharpshooters 
being  carefully  placed.  It  consisted  in  the  steady 
driving  back  of  the  young  Austrian  soldiers,  by  the 
heavier  and  more  mature  troops  of  their  opponents. 
It  began  at  5  p.m.^  and  it  was  not  till  near  midnight 
that  General  von  Werder  occupied  Gitschin.  An- 
other struggle  took  place  on  the  same  evening  on  the 
northern  side  of  the  town,  between  the  Austrians 
and  the  Prussians  who  were  advancing  from  the 
direction  of  Tiirnau.  In  this  part  of  the  fight  the 
loss  of  the  Saxons  was  very  heavy,  and  the  Prussians 
also  suffered  severely,  for  they  had  to  carry  a  strong 
position  held  by  a  superior  force,  the  Prussians  num- 
bering sixteen  thousand  men,  the  allies  thirty  thou- 
sand. The  Prussian  headquarters  were  now  moved 
to  Gitschin,  and  on  the  afternoon  of  June  30  the 
strategic  object  of  the  movements  of  the  two  Prussian 
armies  was  achieved  by  communications  being  opened 
in  Bohemia  between  Prince  Frederick  Charles  and 
the  Crown  Prince,  who  was  advancing  by  Arnau. 

The  army  of  the  Crown  Prince  had  crossed  the 
Austrian  frontier  on   the    evening  of   June  26,  his 


THE  BATTLE  OF  KONIGGRATZ.  385 

first  action  taking  place  at  Trautenau  on  the  fol- 
lowing: day,  in  which  the  Prussians  lost  63  officers 
and  1,214  men,  the  Austrians  196  officers  and  5,530 
men.  The  Austrians  gained  the  victory,  w^hicli  was, 
however,  of  but  little  use  to  them,  the  balance  being 
redeemed  by  an  action  at  Soor,  which  allowed  the 
two  portions  of  the  Prussian  army  to  unite  whilst 
Goblenz,  the  Austrian  general,  retired  to  Koniginhof. 
This  town  was  captured  on  June  29  after  a  hot  con- 
test, each  vard  of  everv  street  and  each  window  of 
every  house  being  stoutly  defended.  In  the  mean- 
time the  left  column  of  the  armv  had  to  advance  from 
Glatz  to  Xachod,  along  a  narrow  road,  through  a 
difficult  defile,  forming  a  column  of  march  twenty 
miles  long.  This  defile  was  defended  by  the  Aus- 
trians in  front  of  Skalitz,  but  after  an  obstinate 
struggle  they  were  driven  back  by  General  ^tein- 
metz,  the  Crown  Prince  being  also  present  in  person. 
Another  battle  took  place  at  Skalitz  itself  on  June 
28,  and  another  at  Schweinschadel  on  the  following 
day,  so  that  the  Crown  Prince  was  able  to  concen- 
trate  his  army  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Elbe,  and  on 
the  last  day  of  the  month,  as  we  have  seen  above, 
communications  between  the  two  commanders  were 
opened. 

By  this  time  King  William  of  Prussia  had  arrived 
at  Reichenberg  and  assumed  the  chief  command  of 
his  armies  in  person.  The  Prussian  armies  were  now 
united  at  Horsitz  and  Jaromierz,  and  the  King 
moved  his  quarters  first  to  Sichrow  and  then  to  Gits- 
chin.  Benedek  after  vainly  attempting  to  prevent 
the  issue  of  the  army  of  the  Crown  Prince  from  the 
mountains  by  his  resistance  at  Soor  and  Skalitz  de- 
termined to  take  up  a  strong  position  on  the  right 
bank  of  the  upper  Elbe  in  order  to  prevent  the  army 


386  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  Silesia  from  crossing  that  stream.  On  the  after- 
noon of  Jvme  30  he  issued  orders  for  the  whole  army 
to  retire  towards  Koniggratz  and  to  concentrate  in 
front  of  that  fortress ;  but  it  was  not  till  the  night  of 
July  2  that  his  whole  force  was  assembled  there, 
when  it  took  up  a  position  between  that  town  and 
the  Eiver  Bistritz.  Of  the  armies  opposed  to  him 
that  of  Prince  Frederick  Charles  had  fought  five 
severe  combats  without  a  reverse  and  had  secured 
a  favourable  position  in  which  to  engage  a  great 
battle;  that  of  the  Crown  Prince  had  fought  severe 
actions  on  June  27,  28  and  29,  and  had  now  secured 
his  juncture  with  the  other  army,  bringing  with  him 
as  trophies  of  his  victories  fifteen  thousand  prisoners, 
twenty-four  captured  guns,  six  stands  of  colours  and 
two  standards.  The  position  of  Benedek  was  pro- 
tected by  the  wooded  hills  of  Chlum  and  Lipa,  and 
by  the  marshy  valley  of  the  Bistritz. 

On  July  3,  1866,  the  position  of  Benedek  was  at- 
tacked by  the  united  forces  of  Prince  Frederick 
Charles  and  General  Herwarth  von  Bitterfeld.  The 
troops  were  all  in  motion  long  before  midnight,  and 
at  1.30  A.M.  the  staff  left  Kammeritz.  With  the 
dawoi  of  day  a  drizzling  rain  came  on  which 
lasted  till  late  in  the  afternoon,  while  a  keen  wind 
blew  sharply  upon  the  soldiers,  who  were  short  both 
of  sleep  and  food.  At  6  a.m.  the  army  had  reached 
the  hill  of  Dub,  but  it  was  not  allowed  to  mount  the 
summit  of  the  slope  which  had  hitherto  concealed 
its  movements  from  the  Austrians.  From  this  point 
the  ground  slopes  gently  down  to  the  Bistritz  and 
the  road  crosses  it  at  the  village  of  Sadowa,  a  mile 
and  a  quarter  from  Dub.  The  ground  then  rises 
until  it  reaches  the  village  of  Chlum,  which  is  a  mile 
and  a  quarter  from  Sadowa.     About  a  mile  and  a 


THE  BATTLE  OF  KONIGGRATZ.  387 

half  from  Sadowa  down  the  Bistritz  stood  the  village 
of  Mokrovous,  and  a  little  way  above  it  on  a  knoll 
the  church  of  Doholicka.  Above  this  church  was 
the  village  of  Dohalitz,  and  between  it  and  Sadowa  a 
large  thick  Avood,  difficult  to  pass. 

At  7  A.M.  Prince  Frederick  Charles  pushed  over 
the  hill  with  some  of  his  cavalry  and  horse  artillery, 
and  at  7.30  a.m.  the  first  shot  was  fired.  The  Prus- 
sian horse  artillery,  close  down  to  the  river,  replied 
to  the  Austrian  guns,  but  neither  side  fired  heavily, 
and  for  half  an  hour  the  cannonade  consisted  of 
single  shots.  At  7.45  a.m.  the  King  of  Prussia  ap- 
peared upon  the  scene  and  the  battle  became  more 
vigorous  on  both  sides.  AYhile  the  cannonade  had 
been  going  on  the  infantry  had  been  moved  down 
towards  the  river,  and  at  10  a.m.  they  were  ordered 
to  attack  Sadowa,  Dohalitz,  and  Mokrovous.  They 
had  to  contest  every  inch  of  the  way,  as  the  Austrians 
fired  fast  upon  them  as  they  approached.  In  and 
around  the  villages  the  fighting  continued  for  nearly 
an  hour  and  but  little  progress  was  made.  One  of 
the  sharpest  engagements  was  l)etween  the  seventh 
division  under  Franzeskv  and  the  Austrians  in  the 
wood  above  Benatek.  By  11  a.m.  the  Prussian  in- 
fantry had  taken  Sadowa,  Dohalitz,  and  Dohalicka, 
and  efforts  were  now  made  against  the  wood  which 
ran  along  the  sides  of  the  Sadowa  and  Lipa  roads, 
but  the  struggle  became  stationary  and  remained  so 
for  about  two  hours. 

News  now  came  to  Benedck  that  the  Crown  Prince 
was  threatening  his  right  flank,  he  therefore  did  his 
utmost  to  inflict  a  severe  blow  on  Prince  Frederick 
Charles,  before  the  Crown  Prince  could  come  up. 
At  about  1  p.m.  the  whole  battle  line  of  the  Prussians 
could  gain  no  more  ground  and  was  obliged  to  fight 


388  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

hard  to  retain  the  position  it  had  won.  Indeed  the 
battle  appeared  to  be  lost,  for  Prussian  guns  had,been 
dismounted  by  Austrian  fire,  and  in  the  wooded  ground 
tlie  needle-gun  was  of  little  effect.  Herwarth  also 
was  checked  on  the  right,  and  things  were  not  going 
much  better  for  the  Prussians  in  the  centre.  The 
Prussians  were  becoming  very  uneasy  and  were  pre- 
paring for  a  disaster. 

The  night  before  the  Crown  Prince  had  promised 
Prince  Frederick  Charles  that  he  would  be  on  the 
field  at  2  p.m.,  but  was  engaged  with  the  xlustrian 
right  as  early  as  12.30  p.m.  The  army  of  the  Crown 
Prince  was  occupying  a  position  with  regard  to  the 
First  army,  similar  to  that  which  the  Prussian  troops 
held  towards  Wellington  on  the  day  of  Waterloo. 
By  1  P.M.  he  obtained  possession  of  the  villages  of 
Hovenarves  and  Rasitz,  the  Austrians  offering  but 
little  resistance,  because  they  were  engaged  with  the 
corps  of  Franzesky,  who  was  carrying  the  village  of 
Benatek.  The  Prussian  guards  then  proceeded  to 
attack  the  strong  position  of  Chlum,  and  when  they 
arrived  on  the  pursuit  they  saw  between  themselves 
and  the  fortress  of  Koniggriitz  the  whole  of  the  Aus- 
trian reserves  to  the  number  of  forty  thousand  men, 
while  between  them  and  their  comrades  of  the  First 
army  were  the  Austrians  engaged  near  Lipa  and  in 
the  Sadowa  wood.  There  were  only  twelve  battal- 
ions of  the  Prussian  guard  to  hold  the  key  of  the 
battle  against  the  whole  reserve  of  the  enemy.  It  was 
at  2.55  that  Benedek,  who  was  between  Chlum  and 
Lipa,  heard  that  the  Prussians  had  occupied  (Jhluni. 
He  could  not  believe  the  news,  but  on  moving  up  to 
ascertain  its  truth  was  received  by  a  withering  voile}' 
which  told  severely  on  his  staff. 

The  j)osition  of  the  Prussian  guard  became  more 


THE  BATTLE  OF  KONIGGRATZ.  389 

critical  every  moment,  but  at  last  a  reserve  of  fifty 
thousand  fresh  troops  arrived,  and  the  main  body 
of  the  second  division  of  the  guards  attacked  the  wood 
of  Lipa  and  the  batteries  of  Chlum.  During  this 
time  the  Prussian  guards  at  Sadowa  were  in  ignor- 
ance of  the  progress  of  the  Crown  Prince,  because 
his  movements  could  be  only  imperfectly  seen ;  but 
they  at  last  became  aware  of  the  attack  of  his  in- 
fantry upon  the  wood  of  Lipa. 

The  First  army  then  sprang  forward  and  with 
loud  cheers  and  drum-beating  went  at  full  speed  up 
the  hill.  The  Sadowa  road  was  cleared,  and  the 
Austrian  batteries  were  attacked,  the  summit  of  the 
hill  was  gained,  and  they  saw  the  white  uniforms 
running  before  them.  The  Crown  Prince's  soldiers 
took  the  fugitives  in  flank  and  raked  them  as  they 
fled.  The  Prussian  artillery  opened  fire  from  the 
summit  of  the  ridge  upon  the  retreating  Austrians, 
who,  notwithstanding  the  odds  against  them,  suc- 
ceeding in  preserving  good  order.  Benedek  saw  that 
the  battle  was  lost  and  that  nothing  remained  but  to 
retire  to  KoniggrJitz  with  the  fragments  of  his  beaten 
armies,  but  the  pursuit  continued,  and  safety  was 
sought  on  both  sides  of  the  Elbe,  till  at  last  the  Aus- 
trian cavalry  reached  Pardubitz,  and  the  army  got 
across  the  river  during  the  night  without  severe  loss. 
In  this  battle  the  Prussians  captured  17-i  guns, 
20,000  prisoners  and  11  standards,  their  loss  being 
10,000  men,  whereas  that  of  the  Austrians  was  nearly 
40,000.  The  morale  of  the  Austrian  army  w^as  de- 
stroyed, and  they  had  to  acknowledge  that  they  could 
not  stand  against  the  better-armed  Prussians.  The 
number  of  the  Austrians  engaged  was  200,000  men 
with  600  guns,  that  of  the  Prussians  261,000  with 
816  guns. 


390  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTEE  LVIII. 


THE      WAR      IN      ITALY. 


The  melancholy  news  which  arrived  from  the 
field  of  Koniggriitz  caused  the  greatest  dismay  iu 
Vienna,  because  they  had  shortly  before  received 
favourable  accounts  from  the  scene  of  war  in  Italy. 
We  must  now  give  an  account  of  the  struggle  which 
had  in  the  meantime  been  raging  on  the  banks  of  the 
]\Iincio.  On  June  20  General  La  Marmora  sent  an 
intimation  to  the  Austi-ians  in  Mantua  that  hostilities 
would  commence  on  June  23,  and  Archduke  Al- 
breclit  prepared  to  receive  the  attack.  The  strength 
of  the  Austrian  position  in  Italy  lay  in  what  was 
called  the  (Quadrilateral,  that  is,  the  square  enclosed 
by  the  strongly  entrenched  camp  on  the  Adige,  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Verona,  the  smaller  and  less 
important  fortress  of  Legnano,  on  the  same  river, 
the  fortifications  of  Peschiera,  at  the  point  where 
the  River  Mincio  issues  from  the  Lago  di  Garda,  and 
the  strong;  fortress  of  Mantua  lower  down  the  IMin- 


'to 


cio.  The  Italians  had  the  choice  eitlier  of  attacking 
the  Quadrilateral  in  front,  or  of  advancing  by  the 
Lower  Po  and  cutting  the  communications  with 
Vienna.  La  Marmora  determined  that  the  main 
army  should  advance  against  the  Mincio  and  the 
Adige  under  the  personal  command  of  King  Victor 
Emanuel,  the  army  numbering  140,000  men  with 
228  guns.  lie  believed  that  the  Archduke  would 
await  the  Italian  attack  behind  the  Adige,  so  that 


THE  WAR  IN  ITALY.  391 

his  troops  could  cross  the  Miiicio  and  enter  the 
Quadrilateral  without  resistance.  His  intention  was 
after  having  thus  separated  the  fortresses,  to  combine 
with  General  Cialdini,  who  was  to  cross  the  Lower 
Po  in  the  direction  of  Ferrara.  Garibaldi,  with  his 
mountain  troops,  was  to  attack  the  passes  which  led 
from  Lombardy  into  the  Tyrol. 

On  June  23  the  headquarters  of  the  King  were 
at  Goito,  and  early  in  the  morning  the  passage  of 
the  Mincio  commenced,  very  few  signs  of  the  Aus- 
trians  being  apparent.  The  Italians,  confirmed  in 
their  opinion  that  the  Archduke  was  not  contem- 
plating resistance  on  the  west  side  of  the  Adige,  pro- 
ceeded to  occupy  the  heights  between  Valeggio, 
Castelnuovo,  and  Somma  Campagna.  La  Marmora 
employed  no  scouts,  his  troops  did  not  breakfast  be- 
fore starting,  proper  rations  were  not  served  out  to 
them,  and  no  preparations  seemed  to  have  been  made 
for  combat.  In  the  meantime  the  Archduke  was  also 
moving  towards  Somma  Campagna  with  the  view 
of  attacking  the  Italians  on  the  flank,  whom  he  im- 
agined to  be  marching  towards  Albaredo  on  the 
Adige.  Thus  a  collision  between  the  two  armies  was 
imminent. 

The  two  armies  met  on  the  morning  of  June  24. 
Custozza  and  Somma  Campagna  iire  situated  on  the 
south-eastern  slopes  of  the  chain  of  liills  which  stretch 
between  Verona  and  Peschiera,  and  the  Italian  army 
was  marching  towards  Villa  Franca  in  the  plain 
without  securing  possession  of  these  hills.  The  x\us- 
trians  were  well  acquainted  with  the  ground  from 
their  constant  use  of  it  in  manoeuvres,  and  the  Arch- 
duke Albert  was  a  worthy  son  of  the  Archduke 
Charles  who  had  beaten  Napoleon  at  Aspern.  The 
hills  consist  of  deep  ravines  and  isolated  summits 


392  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

and  are  drained  by  the  little  River  Tieino.  The 
battle  of  Cnstozza  was  fought  during  the  greater 
part  of  the  hot  midsummer  day  and  ended  in  a 
brilliant  victory  for  the  Austrians.  The  Italians  did 
their  utmost  to  sustain  the  fight  nnder  the  eyes  of 
their  sovereign  until  3  p.m.^  when  the  Austrians 
stormed  jMonte  Vento  and  the  chapel  of  Santa  Lucia 
on  the  right  bank  of  the  Tione.  In  the  evening  they 
were  driven  back  across  the  Mincio ;  but  the  con- 
querors were  so  much  exhausted  that  they  could  not 
continue  the  pursuit.  The  loss  of  killed,  wounded, 
and  prisoners  was  on  the  Austrian  side  about  five 
thousand,  and  on  the  Italian  side  about  eight  thou- 
sand. 

The  Italian  army  was  now  withdrawn  behind  the 
Oglio,  and  Cialdini,  on  hearing  of  the  battle  of  Cus- 
tozza,  gave  up  his  intention  of  crossing  the  Lower  Po 
and  moved  towards  his  left,  posting  his  troops  near 
Mirandola  and  Modena  so  as  to  be  in  close  communi- 
cation with  the  King's  army.  The  Archduke  had  no 
intention  of  invading  Lombardy. 

Garibaldi's  force  consisted  of  about  six  thousand 
men,  divided  into  three  bodies,  one  of  which  occupied 
Eocca  d'Anfo  on  the  Lake  of  Idro,  a  second  Edolo  on 
the  Tonale  road,  and  a  third  Bormio  in  the  Stelvio 
pass.  His  operations  were  nni'm])ortant,  and  he 
found  the  population  of  the  so-called  Italian  Tyrol 
not  inclined  to  desert  the  Austrian  cause.  He  was 
twice  worsted  in  small  engagements,  in  the  second  of 
which  he  was  wounded. 

The  Italians  rested  for  some  time  after  the  battle 
of  Custozza,  but  having  promised  to  support  the 
armies  of  Prussia  they  crossed  the  Lower  Po  and 
advanced  against  the  Tyrol  and  the  eastern  part  of 


THE  WAR  IN  ITALY.  393 

Venetia,  under  the  command  of  Cialdini,  who  had 
succeeded  to  La  Marmora.  Cialdini  effected  these 
operations  on  July  9,  and  five  days  afterward  reached 
Padua.  For  political  reasons  the  Italians  were 
anxious  to  occupy  as  much  of  the  Austrian  territory 
as  possible.  His  army  consisted  of  seventy  thousand 
men  and  he  was  expecting  reinforcements  which 
would  double  its  numbers,  whereas  the  Austrian s 
could  not  place  more  than  thirty  thousand  men  in  the 
field.  The  tz'oops  were  extended  from  Vicenza  on  the 
left  to  Mestre,  not  far  from  Venice,  on  the  right, 
while  his  centre  threatened  the  communications  of 
the  Austrians  with  Friuli.  At  Cialdini's  advance 
the  Austrians  gradually  evacuated  the  Quadrilateral 
and  retired  beyond  the  Isonzo,  and  on  July  24  the 
Italians  occupied  Udine. 

In  the  meantime  General  ^ledici  was  advancing 
against  Bassano,  and  Garibaldi  was  attempting  the 
conquest  of  the  Italian  Tyrol.  It  was  obvious  that 
the  Italians  were  not  willing  to  content  themselves 
with  Venetia,  but  aimed  at  occupying  all  territories  in 
which  the  Italian  language  was  spoken.  Their  ardour 
was  checked  by  the  result  of  the  naval  battle  of  Lissa 
in  which  the  Italian  fleet  under  Persano  was  entirely 
destroyed  by  the  Austrian  Admiral  Tegethoff  on  Jul}' 
20,  1866.  Five  days  later  Victor  Emmanuel  agreed 
to  an  armistice,  and  the  Austrians  ceded  Venetia  to 
the  Emperor  Xapoleon,  who  made  it  over  to  the 
Italians,  and  thus  completed  the  promise  which  he 
had  left  unredeemed  in  1859. 


394  AVARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CH.IPTER  LIX. 

THE  END  OF  THE  WAE. 

We  must  now  pursue  the  fortunes  of  the  war  in 
other  parts  of  Germany.  We  have  already  seen  the 
forced  retreat  of  the  Hanoverian  army  to  Gottingen. 
Much  was  expected  from  the  co-operation  of  the  Ba- 
varian army,  but  its  efficiency  was  spoiled  by  the 
vacillation  of  its  commander,  Prince  Charles,  who 
liad  opposed  to  him  a  most  competent  general  in  the 
person  of  Vogel  von  Falckenstein,  while  the  eighth 
corps,  made  up  of  a  motley  collection  of  contingents 
from  different  States,  lacked  that  unity  and  enthusi- 
asm which  are  the  first  conditions  of  success.  The 
Hanoverian  army  had  lost  the  opportunity  of  uniting 
successfully  with  the  Bavarians  by  the  necessity  which 
!t  felt  of  rest  and  refreshment,  and  it  was  forced 
to  effect  that  union  by  passing  through  the  Thurin- 
gian  forest.  Even  then  there  was  a  want  of  energy 
in  the  leaders  on  both  sides.  There  is  little  doubt 
that  if  the  King  of  Hanover  had  marched  vigorously 
on  Gotha  on  June  24  he  could  not  have  been  op- 
posed with  any  success  by  the  Coburg  army  which 
was  on  the  side  of  the  Prussians ;  but  instead  of  this 
he  entered  into  negotiations  which  led  to  no  satis- 
factory result. 

The  decisive  battle  took  place  at  Langensalza  on 
June  27.  The  Hanoverians  occupied  a  position  on 
the  gently  sloping  hills  which  rise  from  the  left  bank 


Jl 


THE  END  OF  THE  WAR.  395 

of  the  River  Unstrut.  They  had,  however,  detach- 
ments on  the  other  side  of  the  stream,  notably  in 
Langensalza,  from  which  the  battle  derives  its  name. 
Their  troops  were  gradually  driven  across  the  river 
and  the  Prussians  occupied  Langensalza  before  10 
A.M.  Shortly  after  this  the  signal  for  the  battle  was 
given  by  the  Hanoverians,  and  in  a  few  minutes  the 
M'hole  of  the  Prussian  and  the  greater  part  of  the 
Hanoverian  forces  were  engaged.  In  the  attack 
upon  the  Hanoverian  position  the  Prussian  line  had 
become  very  widely  extended,  and  the  King  deter- 
mined to  take  advantage  of  this  fault.  The  advance 
was  made  at  midday,  but  was  impeded  by  the  steep 
banks  of  the  river.  The  Prussians,  however,  re- 
treated and  many  prisoners  were  taken,  but  owing 
to  the  nature  of  the  river,  flowing  deeply  through  high 
banks,  the  Hanoverian  cavalry  were  not  able  to  fol- 
low up  the  victory.  Therefore  at  5  p.m.  the  pursuit 
came  to  an  end  and  the  Hanoverians  remained 
masters  of  the  field  of  battle.  Their  loss  in  killed 
and  wounded  was  1,372.  The  Prussians  lost  about 
the  same  number  and  nearly  a  thousand  prisoners. 

This  victory  was,  however,  soon  found  to  be  of  no 
use.  On  the  following  day  the  King  of  Hanover 
discovered  that  he  was  hemmed  in  on  all  sides  by  an 
army  of  forty  thousand  enemies.  He  determined 
therefore  not  to  sacrifice  his  soldiers,  and  accepted 
the  terms  which  had  been  previously  proposed  by 
Prussia.  Arms,  carriages,  and  military  stores  were 
handed  over  to  the  Prussians,  the  Hanoverian  sol- 
diers were  dismissed  to  their  homes,  the  ofiicers  en- 
gaged not  to  serve  against  Prussia  during  the  war, 
while  the  King  and  the  Crown  Prince  were  permit- 
ted to  go  where  they  pleased  so  long  as  they  did  not 
remain  in  the  territories  of  their  former  kingdom. 


396  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

After  the  capitulation  of  the  Hanoverians  General 
Vogel  von  Falckenstein  was  in  a  position  to  unite 
the  several  bodies  of  troops  which  had  been  led  to 
his  assistance  by  Generals  Goeben,  Manteuffel,  and 
Beyer,  into  a  single  force,  called  the  army  of  the 
Main,  and  to  attack  the  Federal  troops  composed  of 
the  seventh  and  eighth  army  corps.  The  first,  as  we 
have  already  seen,  was  composed  of  the  Bavarians, 
wlio  were  fiftv  thousand  strong  under  the  command 
of  Prince  Charles,  who  had  served  in  the  Napoleonic 
wars,  and  in  the  Schleswig-Holstein  campaign  of 
1848.  The  second,  made  up  from  contingents  from 
Wiirtemberg,  Darmstadt,  Baden,  and  J^assau,  and 
strengthened  by  Austrian  troops  drawn  from  differ- 
ent garrisons,  was  commanded  by  Prince  Alexander 
of  Hesse,  brother  of  the  Empress  of  Bussia  and  the 
father  of  the  Princes  of  Battenberg,  but  in  order  to 
gain  the  advantage  of  greater  unity  the  supreme 
control  of  the  whole  was  committed  to  the  hands  of 
Prince  Charles.  This  unity,however,wasnotattained. 
The  blight  which  had  marred  the  national  strength 
throughout  a  long  series  of  vears,  the  canker  of  the 
old  German  Empire,  was  now  potent  to  destroy  the 
effieiency  of  these  motley  groups.  Local  jealousies 
and  local  interests  could  not  be  forgotten,  and  the 
superior  numbers  of  these  combined  forces  could  not 
prevail  against  the  more  scanty  but  better  disci- 
])lined  and  more  enthusiastic  legions  of  the  Prus- 
sians. 

The  Federal  army  was  not  in  a  position  to  take 
the  field  till  the  beginning  of  July.  The  Bavarians 
were  posted  in  northern  Franconia  between  the 
Ehon  and  the  Thuringian  forests,  while  the  eighth 
army  corps  occupied  the  Wetterau  to  the  north  of 


THE  END  OF  THE  WAR.  307 

Frankfort,  and  contented  itself  with  taking  posses- 
sion of  Giessen  and  the  Prussian  enclave  of  Wetzlar. 
A  plan  which  had  been  originally  formed  for  a  con- 
centration in  Hersfeld  was  not  carried  out,  as  the 
several  combatants  were  reluctant  to  sever  connec- 
tion with  the  countries  to  which  they  belonged. 

Falckenstein  conceived  the  plan  of  pushing  a  wedge 
between  these  two  armies  in  such  a  manner  that  thev 
would  be  prevented  from  undertaking  any  action  in 
combination.  For  this  purjiose  he  despatched  Goc- 
ben's  divisions  in  an  easterly  direction  against  the 
Bavarians,  who  had  advanced  from  Coburg  and 
Meiningen  as  far  as  Kaltennordheim  and  had  occu- 
pied ISTeidhardtshausen  and  Rorsdorf  in  the  valley  of 
the  Fulda.  The  two  armies  came  into  collision  on 
July  4  in  the  battle  of  Dombach  or  Wiesenthal,  as  it 
is  variously  called,  and  the  field  was  obstinately  con- 
tested with  great  bravery  on  either  side.  Although 
the  Bavarians  were  superior  in  numbers  the  conflict 
had  no  decisive  conclusion,  and  the  losses  sustained 
by  the  combatants  on  either  side  were  nearly  equal. 
The  result  was  that  Prince  Charles  gave  up  the 
idea  of  uniting  with  the  eighth  army  corps  in  this 
direction  and  marched  southwards  towards  the  Fran- 
conian  Saale,  followed  by  the  Prussian  army,  which 
advanced  along  the  Fulda  valley  towards  Hanau,  so 
that  after  several  days'  marching  in  parallel  lines  both 
sides  reached  the  valley  of  the  Main.  Falckenstein's 
object  had  been  so  far  attained  that  while  on  July  5 
the  Bavarians  and  the  eighth  Federal  corps  were 
only  thirty  miles  distant,  on  July  7  seventy  lay  be- 
tween them. 

After  a  difficult  march  through  the  Rhon  moun- 
tains the  Prussian  army  came  up  with  the  Bavarians 


398  "WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

in  the  valley  of  the  Saale,  and  on  July  10  fought 
the  battles  of  Kissingen  and  Hammelburg.  In  the 
first  the  town  was  bravely  defended  bv  the  Bavarians, 
who  stood  their  ground  bravely  on  the  bridge  which 
crosses  the  Saale,  notwithstanding  the  burning  houses 
and  the  heavy  cannonade.  The  position  was  at  last 
stormed  by  the  advance  of  the  Jiigers,  and  the  de- 
fenders could  not  withstand  the  vigour  of  the  assault 
and  the  quick  firing  of  the  needle-gun.  The  Ba- 
varians drew  off  to  the  south-east  and  the  Prussians 
gained  the  passage  of  the  Saale  at  Hammelburg.  In 
the  second  the  fashionable  watering-place  was  taken 
by  surprise;  the  visitors  and  the  inhabitants  had  no 
opportunity  of  retiring,  although  those  lodging  in 
the  Hotel  Sauner,  which  is  situated  on  the  right  bank 
of  the  Saale,  were  allowed  to  remove  to  a  less  danger- 
ous position ;  otherwise  none  w^ere  permitted  to  quit 
the  place  for  fear  of  their  giving  intelligence  to  the 
enemy.  The  Prussians  made  their  appearance  in  the 
earlv  mornina;  of  Julv  10,  and  the  Saale  was  crossed 
without  serious  loss.  After  the  passage  of  the  stream 
the  invaders  pushed  forward  into  the  heart  of  the 
towTi,  but  met  with  a  stout  resistance.  The  Kur- 
garten,  the  centre  of  the  social  life  of  the  place,  was 
only  carried  after  a  fourth  assault,  and  a  little  after 
3  P.M.  the  whole  of  the  town  was  in  the  possession 
of  the  Prussians.  Even  then  the  Bavarians  con- 
tinued the  contest  on  the  hills  and  the  fight  lasted  till 
the  evening. 

There  is  no  doubt  that  the  Bavarians  were  sur- 
prised on  the  Saale,  and  that  they  had  not  exj)ected 
an  attack  till  the  following  day,  and  consequently 
had  not  concentrated  their  forces  on  the  river.  The 
troops  which  held  Kissingen  and  Hammelburg  were 
unsupported,   and  the  reserves  were  too  far  off  to  be 


THE  END  OF  THE  WAR.  399 

of  any  service;  indeed  they  did  not  arrive  till  their 
comrades  had  been  defeated,  and  then,  .naturall}^, 
shared  their  fate.  The  Bavarian  staff  was  un- 
prepared and  had  no  proper  maps  of  the  country, 
whereas  the  movements  of  the  Prussians  had  been 
extremely  rapid. 

Falckenstein  now  turned  his  attention  to  the 
eighth  army  corps,  which  was  placed  in  entrenched 
positions  on  the  Fulda.  When  the  news  of  the  Aus- 
trian defeat  reached  the  headquarters  at  Bornheim 
it  appeared  of  the  first  importance  to  defend  Frank- 
furt. Prince  Alexander  therefore  sent  a  Hessian 
and  Austrian  division  under  General  N"eipperg  to 
Aschaffenburg  to  hold  back  the  Prussians  who  were 
advancing  from  Gemiinden,  and  at  the  same  time 
occupied  the  passes  at  Gelnhausen.  This,  however, 
resulted  in  the  victory  of  Goeben  at  Lauffach  on  July 
13  and  the  capture  of  Aschaffenburg  on  the  follow- 
ing day,  and  Prince  Alexander  was  compelled  to  sur- 
render Frankfurt,  which  was  occupied  by  the  Prus- 
sians on  July  16,  and  to  retire  with  his  whole  army 
southwards  to  the  Odenwald.  Falckenstein  had  thus 
in  a  space  of  fourteen  days  defeated  two  armies,  each 
of  which  was  as  strong  as  his  own,  in  two  great  and 
several  minor  actions.  He  was  now  able  to  report 
to  the  King  that  all  lands  north  of  the  Main  were  in 
the  possession  of  the  Prussians.  Falckenstein 
established  his  headquarters  in  the  old  Imperial  city 
and  issued  a  proclamation  announcing  that  he  had 
temporarily  assumed  the  government  of  the  duchy 
of  ^N'assau,  of  the  town  and  territory  of  Frankfurt, 
and  of  the  portions  of  Bavaria  and  Hesse-Darmstadt 
which  his  troops  had  occupied. 

After  the  victory  of  Koniggratz  the  main  Prus- 
sian army  rested  for  a  few  days  and  then  advanced 


400  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

by  tlic  railway  to  Pardubitz,  leaving  a  corps  of  ob- 
servation before  the  fortresses  of  Koniggriitz  and 
Josephstadt,  and  pursuing  the  beaten  Austrians  in 
their  retreat  to  Olmiitz.  In  the  meantime  the  im- 
portant city  of  Prague,  the  capital  of  Bohemia,  had 
been  occupied,  without  a  conflict,  on  July  8.  At  the 
news  of  these  events  terror  reigned  in  Vienna,  and 
there  was  a  movement  to  summon  the  whole  nation 
to  arms.  On  July  13  Archduke  Albert  took  com- 
mand of  the  whole  forces  of  the  Empire ;  he  brought 
a  portion  of  the  army  of  the  south  to  the  capital  and 
united  it  with  the  remains  of  the  army  of  the  north. 
In  the  meantime  the  Crowai  Prince  was  holding 
Benedek  and  his  troops  fast  in  Olmiitz,  whilst  the 
armies  of  the  Elbe  and  of  Prince  Frederick  Charles 
advanced  towards  the  capital  by  the  shortest  road. 
The  Emperor  demanded  an  armistice,  but  this  was 
refused  because  he  insisted  on  the  conditions  that  the 
Federal  States  should  also  be  included  in  it,  and 
that  no  obstacle  should  be  placed  to  the  movements 
of  the  armv  of  the  south. 

The  Prussians  were  not  able  to  take  up  positions 
which  would  threaten  an  interruption  of  the  com- 
munications between  Vienna  and  Olmiitz.  Archduke 
Albert,  therefore,  issued  ord(jrs  to  Field-Marshal 
Benedek  to  send  his  six  army  corps  by  railway  to 
Vienna.  But  before  half  of  them  were  despatched 
the  railroad  w^as  broken  up  and  Benedek  had  to  retire 
with  the  remainder  on  the  road  to  Presburg,  which 
he  only  reached  after  fighting  with  considerable  loss. 
An  eyewitness,  ]\[r.  Hozier,  gives  an  interesting  ac- 
count of  the  incident,  telling  us  that  when  the  lead- 
ing horsemen  came  within  sight  of  the  railway  at 
Coding  they  saw  two  trains,  one  close  behind  the 
other,  with  engines  puffing  and  snorting  violently,  as 


THE  END  OF  THE  WAR.  4OI 

if  drawing  a  heavy  load,  steaming  slowly  in  the 
direction  of  Lindenburg,  carrying  Austrian  troops 
from  Olmiitz  to  Vienna.  It  was  immediately  re- 
solved to  break  up  the  line.  Pickaxes  and  spades 
were  found  in  the  neighbouring  cottages,  and  the 
men  set  to  work  on  foot  whilst  others  held  their 
horses.  Soon  the  rails  were  wrenched  out  of  their 
places,  thrown  on  one  side,  and  in  a  few  minutes 
the  line  was  useless  for  railway  traffic.  Scarcely  was 
the  work  complete  before  another  train  came  up,  but 
when  the  engine-driver  saw  the  Prussian  cavalry  he 
reversed  his  engine  and  backed  slowly  in  the  direc- 
tion from  which  he  had  come. 

The  same  authority  also  remarks  that  railways 
in  an  enemy's  country  are  of  no  use  for  the  troops 
of  an  invader  during  his  advance,  as  the  army  of 
the  defence  always  breaks  them  up  and  they  cannot 
be  repaired  quickly  enough  to  allow  of  troops  being 
moved  by  them.  But  for  the  carriage  of  provisions 
and  stores  thev  are  invaluable,  the  line  of  railway 
being  the  great  artery  which,  leading  from  the  heart, 
supplies  the  extremities  of  the  army  with  means  of 
life  and  motion.  At  the  same  time  a  broken  bridge, 
even  a  few  yards  wide,  would  cause  a  dead  stoppage, 
and  the  time  lost  in  shifting  stores  from  one  side  to 
the  other  would  be  very  great.  An  engineer,  he 
says,  who  would  find  means  of  rapidly  constructing 
field-bridges  which  would  bear  the  weight  of  a  rail- 
Avay  train  would  cause  an  advance  in  the  art  of  war. 

On  July  18,  1866,  King  William  took  up  his 
quarters  in  the  little  Moravian  town  of  Xikolsburg, 
and  slept  in  the  very  room  which  Xapoleon  had  occu- 
pied before  the  battle  of  Austerlitz.  At  this  time 
the  advanced  guard  of  the  invaders  saw  the  Imperial 
city,  conspicuous  by  the  spire  of  St.  Stephen's 
church  and  the  tower  of  the  palace  of  Schonbrunn, 
26 


402  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

while  before  them  lay  the  Marchfeld  with  the 
villages  of  Aspern,  Esslingen,  and  Wagram,  the 
scenes  of  ISTapoleon's  defeat  and  of  his  ultimate  vic- 
tory. They  were  situated,  Hozier  tells  us,  in  the 
midst  of  rich  corn-land  and  fields  of  bright  poppies, 
which  from  a  distance  looked  like  pieces  of  dazzling 
mosaic  let  into  a  golden  pavement,  fringed  by  the 
silver  band  of  the  Danube,  studded  with  emerald 
islets.  In  the  distance  the  dark  blue  Carpathian 
mountains  bounded  the  view  towards  Hungary,  ^o 
Prussian  army,  not  even  that  of  the  Great  Frederick, 
had  ever  gazed  upon  this  view  before.  Floridsdorf 
and  Presburg  were  the  only  strong  places  which  the 
Austrians  now  had  in  their  possession  on  the  north 
bank  of  the  Danube.  This  last-named  fortress, 
which  is  the  key  of  the  passage  between  Austria  and 
Hungary,  was  on  the  point  of  being  captured  on  July 
23,  when  a  few  moments  after  midday  an  Austrian 
came  out  from  Blumenau,  and  advanced  with  a  flag 
of  truce  to  the  Prussian  lines.  He  reported  to  a 
Prussian  officer  who  went  out  to  meet  him  that  an 
armistice  had  been  agreed  upon  to  date  from  mid- 
day and  that  the  hoiir  was  already  past.  The  signal 
to  cease  firing  sounded  along  the  Prussian  ranks,  and 
then  ensued  a  sudden  stillness,  a  hum  of  conversa- 
tion from  the  astonished  soldiers  taking  the  place  of 
the  roar  of  artillery  and  the  patter  of  small  arms. 

This  was  the  end  of  the  war.  The  Emperor  of  the 
French  had  offered  his  mediation  and  had  sent  M. 
Benedetti,  his  ambassador  at  Paris,  to  the  King's 
headquarters  at  Nikolsburg  to  propose  terms  of 
peace.  The  cessation  of  hostilities  agreed  upon  for 
July  23  was  changed  into  a  definite  truce  on  July 
26,  which  included  the  settlement  of  preliminaries 
of  peace,  the  definite  Peace  of  Prague  being  signed 
four  weeks  later  on  August  23,  1866, 


PART  THIRTEEN. 

THE    WAK    OF    1870. 


CHAPTER  LX. 

THE      CONTENDING      FORCES. 

We  must  again  remind  our  readers  that  it  is  no 
part  of  the  object  of  this  volume  to  deal  M'ith  politi- 
cal history.  We  must,  therefore,  omit  all  discussion 
as  to  the  origin  of  the  war  of  1870,  and  proceed  di- 
rectly to  the  war  itself,  giving,  however,  such  an 
account  of  the  composition  and  mobilisation  of  the 
two  armies  as  may  throw  light  upon  the  develop- 
ment of  military  science  as  compared  with  its  con- 
dition in  the  other  campaigns  which  we  have  de- 
scribed. The  French  army  had  been  for  a  long 
time  looked  uj^on  as  a  pattern  for  all  European 
armies ;  its  organisation  was  carefully  studied  in 
other  countries.  An  idea  prevailed  that  the  French 
had  a  genius  for  warfare  which  was  the  backbone  of 
their  strength,  whereas  Prussia  Avas  frequently  held 
up  to  ridicule  from  its  supposed  pedantry  in  time 
of  war.  No  one,  either  in  France  or  outside  of  it, 
had  any  idea  that  the  core  of  this  magnificent 
growth  was  hollow,  and  that  when  opposed  to  a 
better  organised  adversary  would  crumble  into  frag- 
ments. 

403 


404:  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

In  1870  the  principle  of  liability  to  military 
service  was  acknowledged  by  French  law  jnst  as 
fnlly  as  in  Germany,  bnt  in  France  any  one  was 
allowed  to  2)rocnre  a  snbstitutc  who  could  afford  to 
])ay  for  it,  whereas  in  Germany  personal  service  was 
insisted  upon.  The  result  of  this  was  that  the 
French  army,  being  recruited  from  the  poorer  and 
more  ignorant  classes  of  society,  lacked  the  elements 
of  intelligence  and  culture  which  entered  so  largely 
into  the  German  armies.  Further,  in  France  pains 
were  taken  to  keep  the  soldiers  from  contact  with 
the  citizens,  to  isolate  them  in  barracks  and  camps, 
and  to  avoid  billeting  tliem  upon  the  inhabitants,  so 
tliat  the  army  gradually  became  a  military  caste. 
The  Germany  army,  on  the  other  hand,  remained 
in  close  contact  witli  the  classes  of  society  from  which 
it  was  recruited.  France  had  undoubtedly  learnt 
something  from  the  wars  of  1859  and  1866.  She 
had  found  in  1851)  that  whereas  the  French  army 
consisted  on  paper  of  not  less  than  four  hundred 
thousand  men,  and  although  not  more  than  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty  thousand  infantry  and  ten  thou- 
sand cavalry  had  been  employed  in  the  Italian  cam- 
paign, still  it  was  impossible  to  march  an  army  on 
to  the  Rhine  when  Prussia  mobilised  her  army  and 
threatened  France  in  favour  of  Austria.  There- 
fore in  1861  the  French  determined  to  create  such  a 
reserve  as  would  raise  the  army  from  four  hundred 
thousand  to  six  hundred  thousand.  The  war  of  18G6 
showed  that  an  army  of  six  hundred  thousand  men 
Avould  be  quite  inadequate  to  face  the  Prussian  and 
North  German  armies,  including  the  Landwehr. 
It  was,  therefore,  resolved  to  increase  the  war  estab- 
lishment to  eight  hundred  thousand  men,  and  to 
create  a  mobile  National  Guard. 


THE  CONTENDING  FORCES.  405 

It  being  impossible  to  increase  the  peace  establish- 
ment of  the  armv,  this  was  effected  by  reducing  thcj 
period  of  military  service  from  seven  to  five  years, 
and  by  providing  that  all  men  who  had  hitherto  re- 
ceived a  final  discharge  at  the  end  of  seven  years 
should  in  future  be  liable  to  four  years'  reserve  obli- 
gation on  furlough  after  the  expiration  of  five  years. 
This,  it  was  reckoned,  would  provide  about  two  hun- 
dred and  forty  thousand  well-trained  reserves. 
There  was  also  a  second  class  who  were  liable  as  re- 
serves for  nine  years,  and  these  would  add  an  addi- 
tional body  of  one  hundred  thousand,  less  carefully 
trained,  which  would  bring  up  the  whole  reserve  to 
a  total  of  three  hundred  and  forty  thousand  men. 

The  Mobile  Xational  Guard  was  created  in  1862. 
It  consisted  of  all  persons  who  for  one  reason  or  an- 
other had  not  been  enrolled  in  the  active  army  or 
the  reserve  or  who  had  paid  for  substitutes.  They 
were  liable  for  five  years  with  fifteen  days'  annual 
training  in  time  of  peace,  which  gives  a  force  of 
four  hundred  and  twenty-five  thousand  men.  Their 
duty  was  to  be  auxiliary  to  the  active  army,  especial- 
ly in  garrisoning  fortresses,  in  the  defence  of  coasts 
andfrontiersandinthemaintenanceof  internal  order. 
This  new  organisation  was  at  first  popular  with  the 
nation,  but  popular  zeal  cooled  down  as  soon  as  the 
necessity  of  sacrifice  became  apparent,  and  the 
Mobiles  were  of  little  use  in  the  war. 

The  military  organisation  of  Prussia,  which  dates 
from  1861,  had  been  proved  to  be  sound  in  the  war 
against  Denmark  in  1863  and  Austria  in  1866.  After 
the  latter  war  it  had  been  extended  to  the  Xorth 
German  States,  and  was  gradually  introduced  into 
the  South  German  States  as  well.  Its  main  prin- 
ciple was  to  secure  that  in  time  of  peace  all  those 


406  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

who  are  liable  to  field  service  should  also  be  fit  for 
it ;  so  that  the  soldiers  sent  to  meet  the  enemy  should 
be  perfectly  trained  and  instructed.  For  this  pur- 
pose a  twelve  years'  period  of  service  was  imposed 
upon  the  nation,  consisting  of  three  years  in  the 
standing  army,  four  years  in  the  Reserve  and  five  in 
the  Landwehr,  the  Reserve  having  in  the  four  years 
two  terms  of  training  of  eight  weeks  each,  and  the 
Landwehr  during  their  five  years  two  periods  of 
shorter  duration,  from  eight  to  fourteen  days. 

The  contrast  between  the  organisation  of  the  two 
armies  was  still  more  apparent  in  their  mobilisation. 
In  Germany  the  plan  which  had  been  formed  for 
placing  a  maximum  force  under  arms  at  a  given 
time,  originally  excellent,  had  been  improved  from 
day  to  day  and  brought  down  to  the  last  moment. 
It  depended  upon  the  most  elaborate  decentralisa- 
tion, each  unit  of  the  German  military  system  being 
organised  bv  itself,  but  yet  with  due  subordination 
to  the  whole.  Whenever  a  branch  or  section  of  a 
railway  line  was  open  for  traffic  the  entire  series  of 
time-tables  were  altered,  if  need  be,  to  include  this 
new  facility  for  transport.  The  same  diligence  was 
exhibited  in  the  attainment  of  information;  the  Ger- 
man Staff  maps  of  France,  especially  east  of  Paris, 
laid  down  roads  which  in  July,  1870,  had  not  been 
marked  upon  any  map  issued  by  the  French  War 
Office ;  yet  although  the  central  departments  in  Ber- 
lin exercised  an  active  supervision,  they  did  not 
meddle  with  the  local  military  authorities,  who  had 
large  discretionary  powers. 

In  1870  the  army  of  the  North  German  Con- 
federation, with  a  peace  establishment  of  about 
twelve  thousand  officers,  two  hundred  and  eight-five 
thousand  men  and  seventy-three  thousand  horses,  had 


THE  CONTENDING  FORCES.  407 

to  be  augmented  in  the  short  space  of  from  eight  to 
ten  days  to  a  war  establishment  of  twenty-two  thou- 
sand officers,  nine  hundred  and  thirty-two  thousand 
combatants,  and  one  hundred  and  ninety-two  thou- 
sand horses,  equipped  with  everything  which  an  army 
requires  on  the  field.  This  gigantic  task  could  never 
have  ])een  performed  unless  every  comjDonent  part 
had  performed  its  share  of  the  work  with  the  greatest 
diligence  and  rapidity,  each  wheel  working  into  its 
fellow  with  punctuality  and  precision,  nor  could  this 
be  effected  without  decentralisation  of  the  military 
administration,  division  and  repartition  of  labour, 
and  constant  conscientious  provision  in  peace  for  the 
exigencies  of  war. 

When  King  William  of  Prussia  arrived  at  Berlin 
on  the  evening  of  June  15,  1870,  he  at  once  sanc- 
tioned the  orders  prepared  by  General  Moltke,  and 
they  were  immediately  transmitted  to  the  officer.? 
commanding  the  several  army  corps.  By  regular 
stages  each  corps  was  gradually  but  swiftly  devel- 
oped into  its  full  proportions  and  ready  to  start  for 
the  frontier  as  a  finished  product.  The  reserves  and, 
if  necessary,  the  landwehr  men  filled  out  the  battal- 
ions, squadrons  and  batteries  to  the  fixed  strength, 
and  they  were  provided  with  the  arms,  clothing  and 
equipments  which  were  stored  in  the  local  depots. 
Horses  were  called  in,  requisitioned  or  bought  and 
transport  was  obtained.  All  the  wants  of  a  complete 
army  corps  were  easily  supplied,  as  they  had  been 
ascertained  and  provided  for  beforehand.  Thus  the 
whole  operation  of  bringing  a  great  army  from  a 
peace  to  a  war  footing,  in  absolute  readiness  to  meet 
an  enemy  advancing  on  his  own  soil,  was  carried  out 
with  unparalleled  order  and  quickness  in  the  short 
period  of  eighteen  days.     This  included  the  transport 


4(1!^  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  men,  guns,  horses,  carriages,  chiefly  by  railway, 
from  all  parts  of  the  country  to  the  Rhine  and  the 
jNloselle;  indeed  more  than  three  hundred  thousand 
combatants  with  all  their  appurtenances  were  con- 
veyed to  the  places  on  the  days  specified,  in  fulfil- 
ment of  a  scheme  reasoned,  specified  and  drawn  out 
two  years  before. 

The  mobilisation  of  the  French  army  was  an 
entire  contrast  to  that  of  its  antagonist.  In  France 
the  minute  territorial  organisation  of  the  army, 
which  prevailed  in  Germany,  did  not  exist.  A 
peasant  residing  in  Provence  might  be  summoned 
to  join  a  regiment  quartered  in  Brittany,  or  a  work- 
man employed  in  Bordeaux  called  up  to  the  Pas  de 
Calais ;  when  they  arrived  they  might  discover  that 
their  regiments  had  marched  to  Alsace  or  to  Lor- 
raine. During  the  first  fortnight  after  the  declara- 
tion of  war  thousands  of  reserve  men  w^ere  travelling 
to  and  fro  over  France  in  search  of  their  comrades. 
Before  war  was  declared  Marshal  Leboeuf,  the  War 
Minister,  declared  in  the  Council  of  Ministers  that 
the  army  was  perfectly  prepared  for  war,  and  when 
asked  to  explain  himself  he  said :  "  I  mean  that  the 
army  is  perfectly  equipped  in  every  respect,  that  it 
will  not  require  even  the  purchase  of  a  single  gaiter 
luitton  for  a  year  to  come.  EJIe  est  archiprete." 
This  boast  was  soon  discovered  to  be  completely  un- 
founded. At  the  opening  of  tlie  war  the  French 
only  possessed  one  completely  formed  corps  d'armee; 
a  second,  stationed  in  the  camp  of  Chalons,  was  com- 
manded by  General  Frossard ;  all  the  other  corps  had 
to  be  made  out  of  garrison  troops  and  the  entire  staff 
had  to  be  provided  in  haste.  The  armament  of 
Straslmrg  was  not  commenced  till  August  4  ;  on  July 
20  there  was  no  food  in  the  fortresses  of  Metz  and 


THE  CONTENDING  FORCES.  409 

Thionville,  and  a  million  rations  had  to  be  sent  from 
Paris.  On  Jnly  25  there  was  neither  biscuit  nor 
salt  meat  in  the  fortresses  of  Mezieres  and  Sedan. 
All  the  regiments  were  hundreds  short  of  their 
proper  strength. 

There  was  also  great  deficiency  of  ready  money; 
General  de  Failly  at  Bitsch  had  no  coin  wherewith 
to  pay  his  troops.  The  German  soldiers  were 
adequately  supplied  with  first-rate  maps  of  France, 
the  French  only  had  maps  of  Germany  intended  for 
the  invasion  of  that  country.  The  German  officers 
had  a  far  more  intimate  knowledge  of  the  country 
through  which  they  were  marching  than  had  the 
French  inhabitants  themselves.  On  July  21  General 
Michel  sent  the  following  telegram  to  Paris :  "  Have 
arrived  at  Belfort ;  cannot  find  my  brigade ;  cannot 
find  the  General  of  Division ;  what  shall  I  do  ?" 
The  German  army  rested  on  solid  foundations,  and 
nothing  was  left  to  chance;  the  French  army  was 
loosely  put  together.  It  consisted  of  uncertain  ele- 
ments, was  not  easily  collected,  and  was  never  in 
formed  bodies,  and  yet  the  national  character  of 
the  French  is  perhaps  better  suited  for  minute  and 
careful  organisation  than  that  of  the  Germans. 

Let  us  now  consider  the  disposition  of  the  two 
armies  at  the  end  of  Julv.  The  main  French  armv, 
two  hundred  thousand  strong,  was  placed  in  and 
around  Metz  under  IMarshals  Bazaine  and  Canrobert 
and  under  General  Bourbaki,  who  commanded  the 
Imperial  Guard.  It  was  called  the  Army  of  the  Rhine, 
but  it  had  little  to  do  with  that  river.  On  July 
27  it  was  joined  by  the  Emperor  and  his  son  and  by 
Marshal  Leboeuf,  the  too  confident  ^linister  of  War. 
To  the  east  was  the  Army  of  the  South  under  Mac- 
Mahon,  Duke  of  Magenta,  about  one  hundred  thou- 


4:10  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

sand  strong.  To  this  army  were  attached  the  Afri- 
can troops  and  the  Zouaves,  who  were  mainly  of 
Parisian  origin.  This  army  was  thrown  forward 
towards  Alsace,  and  its  advanced  guard  under  Gen- 
eral Douay  was  on  the  Rhine.  In  the  camp  at 
Chalons  was  a  third  army  consisting  of  reservists 
and  mobiles,  who  were  not  completely  collected  and 
were  very  imperfectly  drilled.  Besides  these  armies 
a  well-manned  and  equipped  fleet  was  sailing  from 
Cherbourg  through  the  Channel  with  the  object  of 
cruising  in  the  North  Sea  and  the  Baltic,  to  blockade 
the  harbours  and  to  land  on  the  coasts. 

The  German  forces  were  also  divided  into  three 
great  sections.  The  first  under  General  Steinmetz, 
sixty-one  thousand  strong,  contained  the  first,  seventh 
and  eighth  army  corps,  under  Manteuffel,  Zastrow, 
and  Goeben  respectively,  and  formed  the  right  wing. 
The  second,  under  Prince  Frederick  Charles,  with  a 
strength  of  two  hundred  and  six  thousand  men  and 
534  guns,  together  with  the  third,  numbering  one 
hundred  and  eighty  thousand  men  and  480  guns, 
under  the  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia,  with  Blmnen- 
thal  as  head  of  the  staff,  formed  the  left  wing.  The 
Central  army,  under  the  command  of  the  King  him- 
self, with  Moltke  as  head  of  the  staff,  contained  the 
second  army  corps  under  Fransecky,  the  third  and 
fourth  each  commanded  by  an  Alvensleben,  the  ninth 
under  Manstein,  and  the  tenth  under  Voigts-Rhetz, 
and  the  twelfth,  composed  of  Saxons,  under  the 
Crown  Prince  of  that  countrv,  Albert.  With  the 
Central  army  also  marched  Count  Bismarck,  and 
Roon,  the  Minister  of  War.  General  Vogel  von  Falck- 
enstein  directed  from  Hanover  the  defence  of  the  Ger- 
man coasts  against  the  hostile  fleet.  It  has  been  cal- 
culated that  the  whole  of  the  troops  of  the  Xorth  Ger- 


FIELD  MARSHAL  COUNT  HEI.Ml'TH   VON  MOI^TKE. 


17 


THE  CONTENDING  FORCES.        411 

man  Confederates  amounted  to  nine  hundred  and 
eigbty-four  thousand  five  hundred  men,  and  that  of 
the  French  to  seven  hundred  and  ninety-eight  thou- 
sand men ;  but  the  numbers  actually  brought  into  the 
field  were  considerably  smaller. 


412  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  LXL 

WEISSEXBURG^   WORTH,  AXD   SAARBRUCKEN. 

The  Emperor  left  St.  Cloud  to  join  the  armv  on 
the  morning  of  July  28,  ISTO,  taking  the  Prince  Im- 
perial with  him.  It  has  been  reported  by  an  eye- 
witness that  he  was  silent  and  out  of  spirits,  seem- 
ing to  anticipate  disaster.  As  he  picked  up  various 
well-loved  trinkets  to  place  them  in  his  travelling-bag 
his  eyes  were  full  of  tears.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
Empress  was  radiant  with  joy  and  hope,  and  did  her 
best  to  rouse  him  by  reading  extracts  from  the  last 
English  papers.  She  was  passionate  for  the  war. 
"  It  is  my  war,"  she  proudly  claimed,  but  she  had 
little  to  be  proud  of  in  the  sequel.  The  Erench  plan 
was  to  separate  Xorth  from  South  Germany  by  a 
rapid  passage  of  the  Rhine,  and  by  winning  a  decisive 
battle  to  induce  Austria  and  Italy  to  abandon  their 
neutrality  and  to  take  part  with  France.  For  this 
purpose  one  hundred  thousand  men  were  to  be  con- 
centrated at  Strasburg,  and  one  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  at  Metz,  and  these  united  armies  were  to 
cross  the  Rhine  at  ^Maxau,  between  Rastadt  and  Ger- 
mershein  and  occupy  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Baden. 
Meanwhile  :Marshal  Canrobert  was  to  assemble  fifty 
thousand  men  at  Chalons,  to  bring  this  force  to  Metz, 
and  to  protect  the  north-western  frontier  of  France 
while  the  so-called  Rhine  army  advanced  into  Ger- 
many. These  operations  could  only  be  carried  out 
under  conditions  of  the  greatest  rapidity  and  the 


WEISSENBURG,  WORTH  AND  SAARBRUCKEN.   4^13 

fullest  preparation,  but  Xapoleon  found  at  Metz, 
that  not  only  were  supplies  of  all  kinds  deficient,  but 
that  Metz  was  short  of  its  complement  by  fifty  thou- 
sand men  and  Strasburg  by  sixty  thousand,  whereas 
Canrobert's  troops  not  having  been  concentrated  at 
Chalons  were  unable  to  march  to  Metz. 

The  first  engagement  took  place  on  August  2  at 
Saarbriicken,  a  small  German  commercial  frontier" 
town,  defended  by  a  Prussian  detachment  fifteen 
hundred  strong.  To  attack  this  place  Greneral  Fros- 
sard  advanced  with  the  whole  of  the  second  army 
corps.  The  small  Prussian  force  under  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Pestel  skirmished  with  this  overwhelming 
force  for  two  hours,  and  kept  it  in  check  for  half  a 
day.  It  then  retired,  in  perfect  order,  over  the 
bridges  at  12.30  p.m.  The  town  of  Saarbriicken 
was  then  occupied ;  and  the  open  town  and  railway 
station  of  St.  Joliann,  on  the  opposite  side  of  the 
river,  was  furiously  shelled.  Less  than  a  hundred 
men  were  killed  or  wounded  on  either  side,  but  the 
French  papers  boasted,  '"  Saarbriicken  has  once  more 
become  a  French  city,  the  splendid  coal  district  on 
the  Saar  is  French  property,  Saarbriicken  is  the  first 
station,  we  shall  soon  reach  the  last  one,  Berlin." 
The  Emperor  wrote  to  his  wife  that  the  Prince  Ini- 
j^erial  had  received  his  baptism  of  fire,  and  that  the 
first  shots  from  the  mitrailleuses  had  produced  a 
wonderful  effect.  The  French  made  no  further  ad- 
vance, but  fortified  their  position  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Saar,  the  Emperor  returning  to  Metz. 

The  next  engagement  was  of  a  very  different  char- 
acter. A  division  of  MacMahon's  army  under 
General  Abel  Douay  had  advanced  to  the  frontiers 
of  Rhenish  Bavaria,  and  had  occupied  the  fortified 
town  of  Weissenburg,  which  lies  in  the  centre  of  the 


414  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

Weisspnburs;  lines,  traces  of  which  mav  still  be  seen 
from  the  railway,  so  celebrated  as  a  place  of  combat 
between  the  French  and  Germans  in  the  War  of  the 
Spanish  Succession,  and  in  the  Revolutionary  War 
of  1793.  General  Douay  placed  two  battalions,  con- 
sisting one  of  his  infantry  and  the  other  of  Turcos, 
in  the  town  and  occupied,  with  the  remaining  nine 
battalions  of  his  division,  a  camp  with  tents  on  the 
heights  to  the  south  of  Weissenburg.  The  third 
army,  under  the  command  of  the  Crown  Prince,  had 
pressed  forward  to  the  River  Lauter,  and  was  ad- 
vanciug  southwards  between  Weissenburg  and 
Lauterburg.  The  troops  of  Douay's  division  were 
employed  in  preparing  their  coffee  at  9  a.m.  in  their 
camp,  when  intelligence  came  that  the  enemy  was  ad- 
vancing in  great  masses  and  were  close  at  hand ;  upon 
which,  the  troops,  leaving  their  tents  standing,  moved 
forward  to  occupy  the  river.  The  Prussian  force 
consisted  of  Bavarians  under  Von  der  Tann,  as  well 
as  Silesians,  Poles,  Hessians,  Thuringians,  and 
troops  of  I»[assau,  so  that  by  midday  the  French  were 
threatened  by  far  superior  forces,  and  Douay  ought 
to  have  retreated,  having  learned  by  this  time  that 
he  could  not  expect  assistance  from  Ducrot,  wdio 
was  posted  at  Worth,  twelve  miles  distant.  At  noon 
the  town  of  Weissenburg  was  stormed  and  taken 
after  a  gallant  resistance.  An  attack  was  then  made 
ujiou  the  heights  of  the  Gaisberg,  which  dominated 
the  surrounding  country  and  was  crowned  by  a  strong 
castle.  Eventually  the  French  lines  were  broken 
and  the  neighbouring  heiglits  stormed,  a  Fi'ench  gun, 
the  first  trophy  of  the  war,  being  captured  by  the 
Silesian  Jiigers.  General  Douay  was  killed  and  the 
Frencli  sullenly  retired  from  their  camp,  and  the 
remaining  companies  who  were  posted  in  the  castle 


WEISSENBURG,  V/URTH  AND  SAARBRUCKEN.    415 

were  compelled  to  surrender  at  2  p.m.^  having  lost 
seventv-four  men  killed  and  wounded  in  defence 
of  it ;  seven  hundred  men  were  taken  prisoners.  This 
was  the  first  victory  gained  bj  the  German  troops 
on  French  soil. 

Two  days  later,  on  August  6,  1870,  was  fought  the 
important  battle  of  Worth,  when  MacMahon,  having 
concentrated  all  his  troops  on  the  main  line  of  com- 
munication leading  by  Bitsch  and  Saargemiind  to 
Metz,  determined  to  accept  a  battle,  although  by 
doing  so  he  abandoned  possession  of  Alsace.  The 
position  chosen  was  a  strong  one,  as  the  chain  of  steep 
hills,  partly  wooded,  completely  dominates  the 
ground  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Sauer,  which  is  a  deep 
rivulet  with  steep  banks,  offering  a  considerable  ob- 
stacle to  the  advance  of  an  enemy  and  only  passable 
by  the  bridges  at  Gorsdorff,  Worth,  and  Gunstett. 
The  position  was  strengthened  by  rifle-pits,  trenches, 
abattis,  field-works,  batteries,  and  wire  fences.  Mac- 
Mahon  had  no  information  as  to  the  line  of  the 
enemy's  approach ;  however,  he  took  up  the  following 
positions  on  the  morning  of  August  6.  lie  placed 
Ducrot  on  the  left  wing  with  the  first  division,  Raoult 
with  the  third  division  in  the  centre,  holding  the 
village  of  Worth  at  the  passage  over  the  Sauer, 
strongly  occupied.  The  fourth  division,  under  De 
L'Artigue  was  on  the  right,  holding  the  lower  wood, 
with  a  flank  formed  en  potencc  opposite  to  the  vil- 
lage of  Morsbrunn.  lie  had  at  first  intended  to  figlit 
a  purely  defensive  battle  and  had  ordered  the  bridges 
over  the  Sauer  to  be  destroyed,  but  he  changed  his 
mind  and  left  tliem  standing. 

The  Crown  Prince  held  the  heights  on  the  left 
bank  of  tlie  Sauer,  from  Worth  to  Gunstett,  liaving 
ninety  thousand  men  opposed  to  forty  thousand.   The 


J,16  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

attack  on  Worth  beffan  soon  after  8  a.m.  Bv  11  a.m. 
the  superiority  of  the  Prussian  artillery  had  become 
evident,  and  orders  were  given  to  storm  the  village. 
In  the  meantime  the  French  made  an  attack  upon 
Guustett,  Avhich  was,  however,  repulsed.  Soon  after 
noon  Worth  was  carried  by  storm,  after  an  obstinate 
resistance,  and  was  subsequently  held  against  two 
vigorous  attempts  to  recover  it.  The  Crown  Prince 
had  at  first  intended  to  defer  the  main  battle  till 
August  7,  but  at  1.30  p.m.  he  gave  orders  to  continue 
the  fighting.  The  hardest  part  of  the  fight,  after 
crossing  the  stream,  was  in  storming  the  heights  east 
of  Froschweiler,  which  were  strongly  occupied  and 
partly  fortified.  The  third  French  division,  whose 
commandant.  General  Kaoult,  was  killed,  fought 
with  passionate  courage,  and  only  at  the  fourth  on- 
slaught did  the  Prussians  gain  possession  of  the  cov- 
eted ground.  On  the  French  side  a  desperate  attempt 
was  made  to  retake  Elssasshausen,  but  the  village 
remained  in  the  hands  of  the  Prussians.  It  now 
became  possible  to  make  a  concentric  attack  on 
Froschweiler,  which  was  the  last  strong  point  of  the 
centre  which  remained  in  the  hands  of  the  French. 
Although  the  French  fought  with  the  fury  of  despair, 
the  village  was  stormed  at  3.30  p.m.  and  several 
thousand  prisoners  were  taken  in  it.  After  the  loss 
of  Froschweiler  further  resistance  became  impossible. 
The  French  army  broke  up  and  fled  in  two  directions, 
some  to  Reichshofen  and  some  to  Jiigerthal.  The 
Prussians  bivouacked  on  the  field  of  battle,  the  cav- 
alry being  pushed  forward  to  Reichshofen.  The 
troops  which  fled  to  Ilagenau  Avere  forwarded  by 
rail  to  Strasburg,  where  they  produced  the  utmost 
consternation.  The  remainder  of  the  defeated  army 
was  concentrated  at  Saverne,  which  is  situated  on 
the  main  passage  over  the  Vosges. 


WEISSENBURG,  WORTH  AND  SAARBRUCKEN.   417 

On  the  same  day  that  the  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia 
gained  the  victory  of  Worth  with  the  left  wing  of 
the  German  armies,  August  6,  1870,  the  right  wing 
also  gained  at  Saarbriicken  a  victory  which  eventu- 
ally  had  the  most  decisive  consequences.  The  army 
corps  of  General  Frossard  had  evacuated  Saar- 
briicken as  well  as  the  exercise-ground  of  the  place, 
which  lies  upon  a  height,  and  had  taken  up  a  position 
further  to  the  south  in  the  wooded  range  of  Spichereu 
and  Forbach.  The  position,  naturally  strong,  was 
also  fortified  by  walls  and  entrenchments,  and  was 
thought  to  be  impregnable.  Frossard  had  placed 
concealed  batteries  down  the  slope  as  far  as  the  val- 
ley, which  divides  the  exercise-ground  from  the 
heights.  For  the  space  of  several  hours  the  advanced 
guard  of  the  first  Prussian  army  under  Zastrow  and 
Kanieke  attempted  to  scale  the  heights  in  front  and 
flank ;  two  attacks  were  repulsed,  and  the  German 
losses  were  severe.  But  at  5  p.m.  General  von  Alvens- 
leben  came  up  with  some  troops  from  the  second 
armv,  so  that  Goeben  could  now  order  a  fresh  attack 
upon  the  enemy's  position. 

The  day  was  extremely  hot  and  the  new  troops 
"were  exhausted  by  their  long  march,  but  they  climbed 
the  steep  heights  with  shouts  of  Hurrah !  until  they 
reached  the  Plateau.  The  French  made  extra- 
ordinary exertions,  combining  infantry,  cavalry,  and 
artillery,  in  their  resistance,  and  fouaht  with  the 
courage  of  despair  to  recover  the  position  tliey  had 
lost,  and  it  became  necessary  to  bring  up  the  Prussian 
cavalry  and  artillery  to  the  Plateau,  which  was  ef- 
fected by  means  of  steep  paths  through  wooded  hills. 
On  both  wings  new  bodies  of  troops  came  up,  directed 
by  the  sound  of  the  cannon.  The  French  were 
driven  back  in  the  direction  of  Spicheren  and  Es- 
27 


il8  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

lingen,  and  being  quite  exhausted,  began  to  give  way 
along  the  whole  line.  Finally,  at  about  9  p.m.^  they 
withdrew  in  a  southerly  direction  to  Saargemiind. 

In  the  evening  of  the  same  day  General  von  Golz 
attacked  the  Kaninchenberg,  a  hill  which  overlooks 
the  town  of  Forbach,  and  took  it,  being  then  able 
to  fire  some  rounds  of  shot  upon  the  town  of  Forbach 
and  the  retreating  masses  of  the  enemy,  w^ho  sub- 
sequently abandoned  the  tow^n.  Xight,  however,  put 
an  end  to  the  engagement.  Marshal  Bazaine  was 
posted  with  the  third  corps  about  six  miles  from 
Spicheren,  with  the  purpose  of  supporting  Frossard. 
He  offered  his  co-operation,  but  it  was  declined  as 
being  unnecessary.  This  indifference  and  want  of 
judgment  on  the  part  of  the  French  is  in  strong  con- 
trast to  the  energy  of  their  opponents.  The  battle 
was  w'on,  by  the  rapid  concentration  on  the  scene  of 
action  of  bodies  of  troops  belonging  to  a  great  variety 
of  corps  and  divisions.  If  every  leader  in  the  Prus- 
sian armv  had  not  been  zealous  to  hurrv  forward 
without  hesitation  on  hearing  the  roar  of  the  can- 
nonade  the  achievements  of  August  6  could  never 
have  been  accomplished,  and  the  day  might  have 
marked  a  defeat  in  the  Prussian  annals.  It  is  also 
remarkable  that  the  command  in  the  battle  was  four 
times  chanfjed,  and  was  held  successively  bv  Kameke, 
Stiilpnagel,  Goeben,and  Zastrow;  there  was,  however, 
the  most  perfect  unity  and  harmony  in  the  conduct 
of  the  fighting,  showing  the  absence  of  jealousy  and 
the  uniformity  of  tactical  system. 


VIONVILLE.  419 


CHAPTER   LXIL 


VIONVILLE. 


The  crushing  defeats  of  Worth  and  Saarbriicken 
opened  the  north-eastern  gate  of  France  to  the  Ger- 
man armies  without  any  further  struggle.  From 
August  6  the  movements  of  the  invading  hosts  were 
exclusively  on  French  soil  and  all  danger  of  an  in- 
vasion from  the  west,  either  in  N^orth  or  South  Ger- 
many, was  at  an  end.  General  consternation  was  felt 
at  Paris.  Tlie  movements  of  the  victorious  troops 
who  occupied  the  passes  of  the  Vosges,  and  who,  after 
the  capture  of  the  little  fortress  of  Liitzelstein, 
pressed  even  to  the  Moselle,  were  so  swift  and  ir- 
resistible that  it  became  necessary  to  take  measures 
for  the  security  of  the  capital  itself.  The  investment 
of  the  frontier  city  of  Strasburg  by  General  Beyer 
added  to  the  terror.  On  August  7  and  8  the  Emperor 
and  the  Ministry  issued  proclamations  calling  for  a 
general  rallying  of  the  people  under  the  national 
banner  to  save  the  national  honour.  At  the  same 
time  the  Chambers  were  summoned,  and  so  strong  an 
opposition  was  displayed  towards  the  Government 
that  Ollivier  and  Gramont  were  forced  to  resign, 
and  the  Empress  entrusted  General  MacMahon  with 
the  formation  of  a  new  Cabinet,  whose  principal 
task  should  be  to  conduct  the  national  defence  against 
tlie  invasion  of  the  enemy. 

The  new  Ministry  displayed  great  celerity  in  per- 
forming the  task  which  they  had  undertaken.     All 


4-20  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY, 

unmarried  men  between  twenty-five  and  thirty-five 
years  of  age,  who  had  hitherto  been  legally  dis- 
]>cnsed  from  military  service,  and  widowers  without 
children,  were  called  in  to  the  colours,  excepting 
those  who  had  been  previously  enrolled  in  the 
Xational  Guard.  Volunteers  were  accepted  up  to 
the  age  of  forty-five.  Free  Corps  were  formed 
throughout  the  country,  which  created  a  guerilla 
warfare,  and  gave  the  struggle  a  character  of  inhu- 
manitv  and  crueltv  which  was  unnecessary  and  use- 
less.  At  the  same  time  all  German  families  were 
expelled  from  France.  The  Emperor  laid  down  his 
command  in  chief  and  transferred  the  care  of  the 
Rhine  Army  to  Marshal  Bazaine.  Leboeuf  was  re- 
moved from  his  post  of  Minister  of  War.  Bazaine 
recalled  the  beaten  army  of  Frossard  to  Metz,  whilst 
Mac]\[ahon  retired  with  the  remains  of  the  Vosges 
army  to  Cln'dons,  where  fresh  troops  were  being  as- 
sembled. The  original  "  Army  of  the  Rhine  "  was 
divided  into  two  parts.  With  Bazaine  in  Metz  were 
Changarnier,  Canrobert,  Bourbaki,  Ladmirault,  and 
Decaen ;  with  MacMahon,  whose  army  now  began  to 
be  called  the  Army  of  Paris,  were  De  Failly,  Felix 
Douav,  Ducrot,  and  Lebrun.  The  organisation  of 
the  Garde  Mobile,  neglected  for  so  many  years,  was 
now  taken  up  in  a  hurry,  but  with  little  result ;  all 
the  old  soldiers  between  twenty-five  and  thirty-eight 
years  of  age,  whose  legal  term  of  service  had  expired, 
were  recalled  to  their  regiments;  the  project  of  in- 
vading the  sea-coast  of  Germany  was  given  up,  and 
a  division  of  twelve  thousand  marines  was  incor- 
porated in  the  army,  the  marine  artillery  being  sent 
to  man  the  Paris  forts. 

The  Prussian  army,  together  with  the  troops  from 
the  Xorth   German   States   and  from  Hesse-Darm- 


VIONVILLE.  421 

stadt,  now  marched  into  Lorraine  and  took  possession 
of  !N^ancy  and  the  whole  of  the  flat  country.  When 
the  King  entered  upon  French  territory  at  St.  Avoid 
he  issued  a  proclamation  to  the  French  people,  in 
which  he  said  that  he  was  fighting  against  the  French 
army  and  not  against  French  citizens.  They  would 
continue  to  enjoy  full  security  for  their  persons 
and  their  property,  so  long  as  they  did  not  under- 
take any  hostile  proceedings  against  the  German 
troops,  and  so  deprive  the  King  of  the  power  of 
giving  them  his  protection.  These  intentions  were 
rendered  nugatory  by  the  creation  of  the  Free  Corps 
throughout  France.  Perhaps  it  was  inevitable,  under 
the  circumstances,  that  every  passion  should  be 
roused  to  deal  vengeance  and  destruction  on  the  in- 
vaders. But  the  war  rapidly  assumed  an  internecine 
character,  and  very  few  "  peaceable  "  inhabitants,  as 
defined  by  the  Emperor's  proclamation,  could  be 
found  in  the  country. 

The  Crown  Prince  entered  Xancy  on  August  12, 
and,  in  possession  of  the  capital,  he  could  consider 
Lorraine  as  a  conquered  country,  although  Metz, 
Thionville,  and  some  smaller  frontier  fortresses  lav 
in  the  possession  of  the  enemy.  German  governors 
were  appointed  in  Alsace  and  Lorraine  which  seemed 
to  point  to  a  design  already  formed  for  revindicating 
these  ancient  German  provinces  for  the  Prussian 
Crown.  The  world  looked  on  with  amazement  at 
the  success  of  the  German  arms  and  the  breaking-up 
of  the  Napoleonic  system  which  had  dazzled  the  eyes 
of  Europe  for  twenty  years. 

The  portion  of  the  Army  of  the  Rhine  concen- 
trated in  and  about  Metz  since  August  11  amounted 
at  least  to  one  hundred  and  seventy  thousand  men. 
It  remained  inactive  for  seve;*al  days,  but,  at  the 


4:22  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

moment  when  Bazaine  assumed  the  command,  the 
steady  advance  of  the  German  armies  along  the  whole 
line  demanded  energetic  action.  It  had  to  be  de- 
cided whether  this  armv  should  await  an  attack  on 
Metz  or,  avoiding  a  battle,  withdraw  to  Chalons  or 
Paris  in  order  to  defend  the  capital.  Unfortunately 
the  French  had  omitted  to  protect  their  flank,  so  that 
the  first  course  had  become  impossible,  and  Bazaine 
was  compelled  to  carry  his  army  across  the  Moselle 
and  lead  it  towards  Verdun.  On  the  night  of  August 
13  the  army  was  still  encamped  on  the  right  bank 
of  the  Moselle  in  a  wide  semicircle  round  Metz,  the 
corps  of  Canrobert  being  on  the  right,  those  of 
Frossard  and  Decaen  in  the  centre,  and  Ladmirault's 
on  the  left ;  Bourbaki's  guards  were  posted  at  Remy, 
Forton's  reserve  cavalrv  at  Moiitignv,  and  Barral's 
reserve  cavalry  on  the  island  of  Chambiere.  The 
guards  had  apparently  no  idea  that  the  first  army 
of  the  Germans  was  onlv  about  four  miles  distant, 
concentrated  in  divisions. 

The  Emperor  left  ]\Ietz  at  noon  on  August  14  and 
proceeded  to  the  Moselle,  intending  to  witness  the 
passage  of  the  river  by  the  army  and  then  to  precede 
it  to  Verdun  and  Chalons.  After  organising  at 
Chalons  the  army  destined  for  the  defence  of  the 
capital,  he  would  return  to  Paris  and  resume  the 
reins  of  government.  General  von  der  Goltz  had  re- 
ceived  intelligence  in  the  morning  that  the  second 
army  under  Prince  Frederick  Charles  had  crossei 
the  Moselle  at  Pont-a-Mousson,  and  came  to  the  con- 
clusion that  if  he  could  manage  to  detain  the  French 
a  little  longer  on  the  right  bank,  their  plans  might 
be  disconcerted,  and  their  passage  of  the  river  ren- 
dered impossible.  He  therefore  advanced,  under  his 
own  responsibility,  at  3.30  p.m,^  but  was  brought  to 


VIONVILLE.  423 

a  check  at  Colombey.  The  French  were  not  only 
superior  in  numbers,  but  were  strongly  posted  behind 
trenches,  abattis,and  other  field-works,  and  the  Prus- 
sians found  themselves  in  a  very  critical  position ; 
but  at  6  P.M.  reinforcements  came  up.  General 
Zastrow  arrived  about  5  p.m.  and  assumed  command 
of  his  corps,  but  did  not  produce  much  effect,  till 
at  7  P.M.  General  Kameke  brought  up  four  battalions 
on  the  left  wing,  and  turned  the  fortune  of  the  day. 
The  French  fell  back  upon  Remy,  and  were  forced 
out  of  their  strong  positions.  Darkness  ended  the 
battle  about  8  p.m.,  and  the  Prussians  maintained 
the  ground  they  had  conquered,  while  the  French 
withdrew  to  lletz.  The  object  of  keeping  part  of 
the  French  army  on  the  right  bank  and  preventing 
it  from  joining  the  troops  which  had  already  passed 
had  been  attained,  so  that  the  French  had  lost  a  day, 
whilst  the  second  German  army  was  able  to  continue 
its  turning  movement  without  interruption.  The 
losses  on  both  sides  were  considerable. 

On  the  following  day,  August  15,  the  great  festival 
of  the  Xapoleon  dynasty,  the  birthday  of  its  founder, 
the  day  which  the  sanguine  Imperialists  had  des- 
tined for  the  entry  into  Berlin,  the  whole  French 
army  set  out  from  Metz  towards  Verdun,  marching 
by  the  two  southern  roads,  one  of  which  passes  by 
Rezonville,  Vionville,  and^  Mars-la-Tour,  the  other 
by  Doncourt,  Jarny,  and  Etain.  The  Emperor  and 
his  son  accompanied  the  march,  and  spent  the  night 
in  Gravelotte,  but  on  the  following  morning  set  out 
by  bye-roads  for  the  camp  at  Chalons.  But  Bazaine 
could  onlv  move  slowlv  with  his  enormous  train,  and 
by  the  evening  of  that  day  the  advanced  guard  of  the 
second  army,  which  had  crossed  the  flooded  Moselle 
at  Pont-a-Mousson  and  other  points,  reached,  after 


424  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

forced  marches,  the  positions  of  Tronville,  Mars-la- 
Tour,  and  Vionville.  As  it  was  part  of  Moltke's 
plan  to  detain  the  French  army  between  the  Meuso 
and  the  Moselle  and  to  force  them  to  a  decisive  bat- 
tle, this  advanced  guard,  weary  as  they  were,  were 
compelled  to  take  the  field  at  daybreak  on  the  follow- 
ing morning,  August  1 6. 

The  road  from  Gravelotte  to  Verdun  passes  by  the 
villages  of  Rezonville,  Vionville,  and  Mars-la-Tour, 
through  an  open  and  undulating  country,  dotted 
with  small  woods.  Suddenly  the  cavalry  brigade 
which  was  encamped  west  of  Vionville  were  struck 
by  shells  fired  from  a  battery  close  in  their  neigh- 
bourhood. More  batteries  followed  suit,  and  the 
dragoons  broke  and  fled,  gallojjing  off  to  Rezon- 
ville. The  infantry  camps  were  soon  attacked  in  a 
similar  manner,  but  Frossard's  corps  replied  with 
great  and  successful  vigour.  The  artillery  which 
caused  this  panic  belonged  to  the  advanced  guard  of 
the  army  of  Prince  Frederick  Charles,  who  did  not 
anticipate  a  battle,  but  hoped  to  fall  in  with  the  rear- 
guard of  the  French,  or  to  compel  the  French  army  to 
halt  and  fight  before  it  reached  the  Meuse.  The 
sound  of  the  cannonade  startled  Lebopuf  at  Verne- 
ville  and  Marshal  Bazaine  in  his  headquarters  at 
Gravelotte. 

By  this  time  Alvensleben  had  ascertained  that  the 
French  outposts  were  at  Tronville  and  Vionville  and 
that  great  encampments  were  visible  behind  these 
two  villages.  Having  thus  learnt  that  the  French 
had  not  begun  their  march  to  Verdun,  he  determined 
to  attack  them  with  the  third  corps  and  the  sixth 
cavalry  division  in  order  to  hold  them  fast.  A  ter- 
rible struggle  ensued,  the  right  wing  under  Stiilp- 
nagel  advanced  from  the  south,  the  left  wing  under 


VIONVILLE.  425 

Alvensleben  himself  from  the  south-west,  while  Von 
Billow  attacked  in  the  centre.  Vionville  and  Fla- 
vigny  were  carried,  and  the  French  were  compelled  to 
retreat  towards  Rezonville.  Stiilpnagers  division 
had  the  greatest  difficulty  in  maintaining  its  position 
to  the  west  of  the  wood  of  Vionville,  continuing  the 
combat  without  being  relieved,  and  suffering  heavy 
losses  from  the  enemy's  long-range  fire.  But  it  was 
a  combat  for  life  or  death,  and  every  Prussian  soldier 
felt  convinced  of  the  necessity  of  not  yielding  an 
inch  of  ground. 

Just  as  Frossard's  infantry  was  retreating  behind 
Bezonville,  Bazaine  appeared  upon  the  scene  and 
rode  into  the  thick  of  the  battle.  He  sent  a  line  regi- 
ment to  charge  and  check  the  pursuers ;  but  they 
were  decimated  by  the  fire  of  the  infantry.  Bazaine 
himself  was  nearly  taken  prisoner,  being  separated 
for  a  moment  from  his  staff,  and  compelled  to  defend 
himself.  The  crisis  of  the  battle  came  about  2  p.m.^ 
when  every  man  and  gun  upon  the  German  side  was 
engaged  and  the  greater  part  of  the  tenth  corps  was 
still  distant  from  the  field.  Luckily  for  the  Ger- 
mans Bazaine  began  to  fear  lest  he  might  be  turned 
on  his  left  flank  and  detached  troops  to  prevent  it. 
At  this  time  Alvensleben  directed  the  brilliant  charge 
of  Bredow's  corps,  with  the  view  of  gaining  time  and 
relieving  the  infantry  and  the  artillery.  The  charge 
effected  its  object,  but  with  the  terrible  loss  of  l-i 
officers  and  363  men ;  indeed  the  French  bulletins 
asserted  that  the  cuirassier  regiment  of  Count  Bis- 
marck had  been  annihilated.  During  the  next  three 
hours  the  struggle  on  the  German  right  and  centre 
remained  stationary,  as  they  were  unable  to  win 
ground  from  the  grenadiers  of  the  Imperial  Guard. 

About  4  P.M.  Prince  Frederick  Charles  arrived  on 


426  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

tlie  field,  having  ridden  straight  from  Pont-a-Mousson. 
He  soon  saw  that  the  stress  of  the  battle  was  on  the 
left  wing,  where  the  tenth  corps  had  appeared  just 
in  time  to  meet  the  fresh  troops  which  were  under 
the  command  of  Leboeuf  and  Ladmirault.  The  artil- 
lery took  the  lead,  then  the  infantry  went  into  the 
wood  and  drove  out  the  French.  Ladmirault  was 
driven  back.  Another  cavalry  cliarge  took  place  in 
which  Count  Bismarck's  two  sons  rode  as  privates; 
one  of  them  was  wounded,  and  the  other  lifted  a 
Avounded  comrade  on  to  his  horse  and  carried  him 
from  the  field.  The  last  event  of  the  battle  was  a 
great  combat  of  cavalry. 

It  was  now  past  7  p.m.,,  and  both  sides  were  ex- 
hausted by  the  tremendous  strain  to  which  they  had 
been  subjected,  but  the  contest  continued  until  dark- 
ness fell.  At  the  very  last  moment  a  violent  cannon- 
ade, the  origin  of  which  is  still  uncertain,  burst  forth 
on  both  sides.  The  French  slept  on  the  ground  they 
held,  that  is  in  the  village  of  Rezonville  or  on  the 
heights  to  the  south  of  it,  and  on  the  ridge  on  the 
north  overlooking  the  u])per  road  to  Verdun.  In  the 
battle  the  French  had  lost  seventeen  thousand  men 
and  the  Germans  sixteen  thousand,  there  being  one 
hundred  and  twenty-five  thousand  French  engaged  in 
the  battle  against  seventy-seven  thousand  of  their 
antagonists.  The  result  was  not  so  much  a  tactical 
as  a  moral  victory.  At  the  close  of  the  fight  neither 
party  was  able  to  move  a  step  further  towards  the 
enemy.  But  during  the  night  the  French  army  was 
ordered  to  retire  towards  Metz.  This  was  a  surprise 
to  the  French,  because  they  imagined  that  they  had 
gained  a  great  vi<^tory;  but  Bazaine  had  no  confi- 
dence in  the  supplies  either  of  ammunition  or  of 
food. 


VIONVILLE.  497 

Bazaine  now  took  up  a  purely  defensive  position, 
with  his  front  towards  the  west.  But  he  had  not 
given  up  the  idea  of  retiring  to  Chalons,  because  he 
reported  to  the  Emperor  on  x\ugust  17  that  he  would, 
if  it  were  possible,  in  two  days,  after  the  army  had 
been  supplied  with  victuals  and  ammunition,  march 
towards  Verdun  by  the  northern  road.  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  if  he  had  begun  this  march  in  the  morning  or 
even  the  night  of  August  17,  the  Germans  would 
not  have  been  able  to  oppose  the  movement,  but  only 
to  harass  his  flank,  whereas  his  remaining  inactive 
at  Metz  during  the  whole  of  that  day  enabled  his 
enemies  to  concentrate  a  superior  force  against  him 
and  eventually  to  cut  him  off  from  retreat  altogether. 
The  reason  for  this  delay  was,  apparently,  as  we  have 
before  said,  the  deficiency  of  food  and  ammunition. 


428  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER   LXIII. 


GRAVELOTTE. 


We  have  already  mentioned  that  Bazaine  an- 
nounced to  his  Government  the  battle  of  Vionville, 
or,  as  the  Germans  call  it,  Mars-la-Tonr,  as  a  victory, 
and  that  his  withdrawal  nnder  the  walls  of  IMetz  after 
its  conclusion  had  merely  been  for  the  reasons  we 
have  described.  The  day  of  August  17,  w^hieh  was 
wasted  by  the  French,  was  employed  by  the  Prussians 
in  bringing  up  all  available  troops,  whether  from 
the  first  or  from  the  second  army.  We  have  seen 
that  the  French  army  had  entirely  changed  its 
method  of  fighting.  In  the  days  of  Napoleon  and 
after,  it  was  chiefly  distinguished  for  its  viggrous 
attacks  and  firm  undaunted  courage  in  assault,  but 
in  all  the  battles  which  we  have  described,  its  object 
was  to  stand  upon  the  defensive  in  well-protected 
positions.  We  have  seen  how  the  natural  features  of 
Weissenberg,  Worth,  and  Spicheren  were  used  for 
this  purpose,  and  the  hilly  region  around  Metz  was 
not  less  adapted  to  this  end.  Bazaine  therefore  de- 
termined to  engage  in  a  decisive  battle  on  this  spot 
before  he  commenced  his  retreat  to  Verdun. 

One  of  the  reasons  for  adopting  this  method  of 
fighting,  the  adoption  of  which  is  to  be  attributed 
to  Marshal  ISTiel,  was  the  fact  that  the  French  army 
was  equipped  with  cliassepot  guns  of  long  range  and 
with  mitrailleuses.     For  that  reason  it  was  not  con- 


GRAVELOTTE.  429 

sidered  wise  to  place  French  troops  in  a  position 
where  they  would  have  a  wide  expanse  before  them 
and  great  difficulty  of  approach,  so  that  they  might 
await  the  onslaught  of  the  enemy  in  their  entrench- 
ments, overwhelm  them  with  their  fire,  and  then  dis- 
perse them  with  a  vigorous  charge.  The  defeats  of 
Weissenburg,  Worth,  and  Spicheren  ought  to  have 
given  the  French  a  warning  that  these  tactics  were 
not  suited  to  the  genius  of  their  army,  but  they  at- 
tributed these  disasters  rather  to  superior  numbers 
or  to  surprise.  At  Remy  and  at  Vionville  they  had 
been  able,  at  least,  to  hold  their  own,  why  should  not 
Bazaine  make  a  third  attempt,  which  might  scatter, 
if  not  annihilate,  the  enemy  and  open  the  road  to 
western  France  ?  There  were  manv  things  in  his 
favour — the  courage  of  the  French  troops  was  un- 
broken, and  their  spirit  had  rather  been  excited  than 
crushed  by  their  previous  misfortunes.  He  had  with 
him  an  army  of  one  hundred  and  sixty  thousand  to 
one  hundred  and  eighty  thousand  men,  scarcely  in- 
ferior in  number  to  the  Germans,  and  had  the  ad- 
vantage of  their  being  already  in  hand,  whereas  the 
enemy  would  not  be  able  to  assend)le  for  some  time. 
He  also  flattered  himself  that  he  could  hold  before 
Metz  a  position  which  was  regarded  not  only  as  im- 
pregnable but  as  one  wdiich  it  would  be  madness  to 
attack. 

The  left  bank  of  the  ]\[oselle  rises  suddenly  to 
the  heights  of  St.  Quentin  and  Plappeville,  and 
from  the  summit  of  these  heights  falls  gradually 
towards,  the  west,  the  ground  being  very  uneven  and 
partly  covered  Avith  wood.  Two  narrow  valleys  or 
gorges  penetrate  this  inclined  slope,  one  on  the  east, 
leading  from  St.  Privat  by  Amanvillers  and  Chatel 
St.  Germain  to  the  Moselle,  and  the  other  on  the 


430  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

west,  formed  by  the  rivulet  of  La  Mance,  beginniiii; 
at  Verueville,  and  also  reaching  the  Moselle,  The 
French  army  was  posted  on  the  heights  lying  between 
these  two  ravines;  the  high-road  from  Gravelotte 
to  Metz  passes  through  this  position  in  many  wind- 
ings, which  form  a  species  of  defile.  The  ground 
was  of  such  a  nature  that  it  was  possible  for  the  de- 
fending party  to  fire  in  tiers,  one  above  the  other, 
also  to  occupy  a  number  of  sheltered  positions  behind 
the  heights,  whereas  the  assailants  were  compelled  to 
advance  over  ground  which  offered  no  cover  what- 
ever. 

The  corps  of  Canrobert  was  placed  on  the  right, 
occupying  the  village  of  St.  Privat  la  Montague, 
which,  as  its  name  implies,  stands  upon  a  height, 
is  surrounded  by  a  wall,  and  consisted  at  that  time 
largely  of  massive  stone  houses  which  had  been 
strongly  fortified.  The  corps  of  Lebceuf  was  in  the 
centre,  occuj)ying  the  farmhouses  of  La  Folic,  Leip- 
zig, Moscou,and  the  Bois  de  Geniveaux.  This  posi- 
tion was  defended  by  a  triple  row  of  rifle-pits,  one 
over  the  other.  The  corps  of  Ladmirault  was  on  the 
left  wing,  and  that  of  Frossard  on  the  extreme  left, 
especially  favoured  by  the  formation  of  the  ground, 
and  defended  also  by  rifle-pits.  The  Imperial 
Guards  were  in  reserve  behind  the  left  w^ng,  and  the 
artillery  was  drawn  up  on  the  heights  of  St.  Quentin 
and  Plappeville.  On  these  heights  Marshal  Bazaino 
took  up  his  position  and  retained  it  throughout  the 
battle.  The  extent  of  the  French  line  altogether  was 
about  seven  miles. 

In  the  battle  of  Gravelotte,  which  ensued,  the  King 
of  Prussia  took  command  of  his  own  army.  He  drew 
up  his  line  of  battle  by  placing  his  corps  d'armee  in 
the  following  order,  beginning  with  the  right;  the 


GRAVELOTTE.  431 

seventh,  eighth  and  ninth  corps,  the  corps  of  the 
Guard,  the  twelfth  corps,  holding  the  third  and  tenth 
corps,  whicli  had  suffered  severely  on  August  16  in 
reserve.  The  most  difficult  part  of  the  struggle  had 
been  committed  to  the  Guard  and  the  twelfth  corps, 
because  they  were  in  the  freshest  condition ;  but  as 
they  had  been  compelled  to  make  a  considerable 
march  from  Mars-la-Tour  it  was  ordered  that  until 
they  could  take  part  in  tlie  battle  the  fight  on  the 
centre  and  the  right  should  be  confined  to  an  artillery 
fire. 

The  French  opened  the  battle  at  midday  with  a 
murderous  fire.  The  eighth  German  corps  then  occu- 
pied Gravelotte  and  deployed  its  artillery  on  the 
heights  on  the  east  and  the  south,  and  at  12.45  fifty 
guns  opened  their  fire.  They  kept  up  the  artillery 
combat!lnostresolutely,not^\■ithstandingtho  losses  they 
suffered  from  the  French  guns  and  mitrailleuses  for 
many  hours.  At  4  p.m.  fifteen  of  these  guns  had  been 
disabled,  and  it  became  necessary  to  obtain  fresh 
supplies  of  ammunition  from  the  rear.  The  French, 
however,  had  been  entirely  unable  to  drive  them 
back.  At  this  time  the  Germans  gained  an  advantage 
on  the  left  wing.  Prince  Ilohenlohe  advanced  to- 
wards St.  Privat,  till  his  batteries  got  within  chasse- 
pot  range  and  succeeded  in  silencing  the  enemy's 
artillerv,  not  onlv  at  St.  Privat,  but  at  Amanvillers 
and  Montigny.  The  ninth  corps  maintained  its  posi- 
tion, although  it  was  deluged  with  the  enemy's  pro- 
jectiles, and  the  brave  Hessians  never  yielded  a  foot 
of  ground.  St.  Marie  aux  Chenes  was  also  taken 
about  4  p.M.^  and  the  Saxon  artillery  was  able  to  take 
a  position  north  of  the  village,  directing  its  fire  on 
St.  Privat  and  Roncourt. 

As  Marshal  Bazaine  surveyed  the  field  of  battle 


432  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

from  the  heights  of  Plappeville  at  about  5  p.m.^  he 
had  sound  reason  for  believing  that  the  battle  was  al- 
ready decided  in  his  favour,  and  that  victory  was 
certain.  At  that  time  the  French  army  held  unflinch- 
ingly all  its  main  positions  along  the  whole  line  and 
had  only  lost  a  few  small  advanced  posts.  Can- 
roberts  still  remained  perfectly  intact  in  the  position 
of  St.  Privat  and  Roncourt,  although  his  corps  had 
been  driven  back  at  St.  Marie,  and  was  engaged  in  a 
serious  artillery  combat;  Ladmirault  also  held  his 
ground  at  Amanville  and  at  Montigny.  Leboeuf 
had  been  compelled  to  evacuate  the  Bois  de  Geni- 
veaux,  but  had  warded  off  the  enemy's  attack  against 
its  main  position  on  the  heights  of  Moscou ;  Frossard 
was  still  liolding  his  fortified  positions  at  Point  du 
Jour  and  Rozerieullcs,  although  St.  Hubert  had  been 
lost.  The  Imperial  Guard,  in  reserve,  had  not  as  yet 
taken  any  part  in  the  engagement.  It  must,  how- 
ever, be  remembered  that  on  the  side  of  the  Germans 
only  about  half  the  disposable  forces  had  been 
actively  employed,  and  that  powerful  efforts  were 
possible  with  fresh  troops,  both  on  the  right  and  left 


wing. 


The  battle  had  now  been  raging  for  five  hours 
without  intermission ;  there  were  signs  that  evening 
was  comina;  on,  and  if  anvthine;  decisive  was  to  be 
done  that  day,  it  Avas  necessary  that  the  Guards  should 
take  part  in  the  engagement.  Therefore  soon  after  5 
P.M.  orders  were  given  to  three  brigades  of  the  Guards 
to  advance  to  the  attack  of  St.  Privat.  As  they  ad- 
vanced they  were  received  with  a  heavy  fire,  but  they 
continued  to  press  steadily  forward.  Indeed  nearly 
all  the  generals,  field-officers  and  adjutants  who  re- 
mained on  horseback  were  either  dismounted  or 
killed.     The  loss  was  so  great  that  orders  were  given 


GRAVELOTTE.  433 

to  suspend  the  attack  and  to  await  the  arrival  of  the 
Saxons.  Those  troops,  forming  the  twelfth  corps, 
reached  Roncourt  at  6.30  p.m.  and  proposed  to  at- 
tack St.  Privat  on  the  north,  and  at  this  moment  the 
three  brigades  of  the  Guards  received  orders  to  con- 
tinue their  advance.  At  6.45  they  forced  their  way  into 
the  village  from  the  south  and  west,  and  at  the  same 
moment  some  of  the  Saxon  troops  entered  from  the 
north.  A  street  fight  ensued  in  which  the  houses  of 
the  village  had  to  be  stormed  one  after  the  other,  and 
just  as  darkness  set  in  the  united  German  troops 
became  masters  of  the  village. 

The  attack  of  the  Guards  upon  St.  Privat  made  it 
possible  for  the  Hessian  division  and  the  third 
brigade  of  Guards  to  advance  upon  Amanvillers,  but 
the  French  forces  at  this  spot  were  so  much  superior 
in  numbers  that  the  attack  did  not  succeed.  How- 
ever, the  defeat  of  the  French  at  St.  Privat  carried 
with  it  the  abandonment  of  Amanvillers.  Ladmi- 
rault,  fearing  to  be  taken  on  flank,  evacuated  his  posi- 
tions and  retreated  through  the  wood  of  Lorry  to 
Plappeville,  the  retreat  being  so  precipitous  that  a 
large  encampment  of  huts  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Prussians,  together  with  much  other  booty.  When 
the  news  of  the  defeat  of  the  French  right  wing 
reached  headquarters  General  Bourbaki,  commander 
of  the  Imperial  Guard,  issued  orders  to  march 
through  the  forest  to  its  support,  but  they  arrived  too 
late  to  be  of  any  advantage. 

At  the  other  extremity  of  the  field  General 
Fransecky,  commanding  the  second  corps,  received 
orders  from  the  King  at  5.30  p.m.  to  carry  the 
plateau  of  the  Moscou  farm.  For  this  purpose  it 
was  necessary  to  pass  through  the  terrible  defile  of 
Gravelotte,  which  can  never  be  forgotten  by  any  one 
28 


434  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

who  has  seen  it,  as  it  appears  almost  impregnable. 
The  pass,  formed  by  the  steep  banks  of  the  River 
Mance,  is  only  twelve  yards  wide.  After  passing  the 
bridge  the  road  to  Metz  is  bordered  for  about  five 
hundred  yards  by  a  wall  of  precipitous  rocks,  thirty 
or  forty  feet  high,  and  on  the  right  by  a  ravine  in 
some  places  twenty  feet  deep.  After  passing  St. 
Hubert  the  road  reaches  the  level  of  the  plateau. 
Along  this  road  the  infantry  had  to  advance  un- 
supported, until  they  reached  St.  Hubert.  The  pro- 
gress was  watched  by  Moltke  and  by  the  King  him- 
self until  Von  Roon  forced  him  away  from  his 
dangerous  position. 

Fransecky's  orders  were  that  the  troops  were  to 
climb  the  eastern  bank  of  the  Mance,  and  move  along 
the  road  until  they  came  in  front  of  Point  du  Jour, 
they  were  then  to  storm  that  important  position, 
which  is  the  higliest  point  of  the  road.  These  orders 
were  carried  out,  the  troops  pressing  forward  in  one 
continuous  close  column,  every  file  closing  up  to  the 
next  one,  and  each  rank  calling  to  the  other,  '*  Close 
up  well  forwards,  shoulder  to  shoulder."  The  drum- 
mers beat  the  charge,  the  bugles  sounded  the  advance, 
and  the  soldiers  responded  with  an  hurrah !  They 
were  received  on  the  plateau  by  a  storm  of  mitrail- 
leuses and  chassepots,  while  the  solid  mass  of  soldiers 
moving  forward  on  the  high-road  were  ploughed  into 
with  projectiles,  which  found  their  victims  on  the 
other  side  of  the  defile.  In  the  meantime  the  artil- 
lery of  the  corps  kept  up  a  continuous  fire  against 
the  plateau  over  the  heads  of  the  storming  columns. 

The  attack  was  not  without  its  special  feature  of 
disaster.  Some  Prussian  troops  were  driven  back  to 
the  rear  along  the  same  road  and  hindered  these  ad- 
vancing   invaders;    guns    also   moving   out   of   fire 


GRAVELOTTE.  435 

caused  still  more  confusion.  Something  like  a  panic 
occurred,  and  it  required  all  the  efforts  of  the  leaders 
to  restore  order;  a  considerable  number  of  soldiers 
were  thrown  forcibly  down  the  deep  ravine  which 
borders  the  other  side  of  the  road.  The  sun  had  now 
gone  down,  and  it  was  found  that  in  the  confusion 
Prussian  troops  who  had  reached  the  heights  were 
firing  upon  their  advancing  comrades.  Fransecky 
therefore  ordered  the  bugle  to  sound  "  cease  firing," 
and  a  general  cessation  of  fire  occurred  for  a  mo- 
ment on  both  sides.  The  storming  column,  which 
had  been  temporarily  stopped,  now  got  under  weigh 
again  and  reached  St.  Hubert,  but  beyond  that  vil- 
lage it  was  again  exposed  to  a  murderous  hail.  At 
last  Point  du  Jour  was  carried.  About  10.30  p.m. 
the  enemy  delivered  a  terrible  fire  of  mitrailleuses 
and  chassepots  upon  the  Germans,  the  last  great  vol- 
ley which  formed  a  closing  scene  to  the  whole  battle. 
On  the  next  morning  it  was  found  that  the  enemy  had 
evacuated  all  his  positions,  the  road  being  thickly 
strewed  with  arms  and  knapsacks  thrown  away  in 
flight.  The  King  passed  the  night  on  a  field-bed  in 
a  small  room  at  Rezonville,  not  having  changed  his 
clothes  for  thirty  hours,  and  having  no  covering 
during  the  night  except  his  military  cloak.  On  the 
following  day,  finding  that  no  attempts  were  being 
made  to  renew  the  conflict,  he  moved  his  headquarters 
to  Pont-a-Mousson. 

In  this  battle  the  French  lost  609  officers  and 
11,705  men,  the  Germans  90-i  officers  and  19,058 
men.  Besides  this  six  thousand  French  were  made 
prisoners. 

Let  us  now  consider  the  operations  we  have  de- 
scribed in  their  general  aspect.  After  the  battles  of 
Weissenburg,  Worth,  and  Saarbriicken,  the  German 


436  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

army  formed  a  line  obliquely  directed  towards  the 
Moselle,  so  that  the  right  wing  was  fifty  miles  and  the 
left  wing  a  hundred  and  ten  miles  distant  from  the 
stream.  The  line  of  the  Moselle  now  became  the 
objective,  and  the  whole  army  eventually  came  into 
a  position  parallel  to  its  course,  the  right  wing  hold- 
ing back  and  the  left  wing  pressing  towards  the  river. 
The  centre,  under  Prince  Frederick  Charles,  now 
moved  round  the  right  wing  under  Steinmetz  and 
crossed  the  river  at  Pont-a-Mousson,  so  that  when  it 
took  up  its  position  at  Mars-la-Tour  and  Doncourt, 
it  had  described  a  half-circle.  At  Mars-la-Tour 
the  former  Prussian  centre  was  posted  with  its  face 
to  the  Rhine  and  its  back  towards  Paris,  and  the 
French  army  against  which  it  had  fought  had 
its  face  towards  Paris^  and  its  back  to  the  Rhine — a 
position  similar  to  that  of  the  French  and  the  allies 
in  the  battle  of  the  Valmy.  These  movements  had 
been  carried  out  with  perfect  precision  and  without 
any  confusion,  as  was  the  movement  which  after 
Mars-la-Tour  united  the  two  armies  placed  on  differ- 
ent sides  of  the  Moselle.  These  remarkable  man- 
oeuvres would  have  been  disastrous  failures  if  they 
had  not  been  executed  in  the  most  perfect  manner; 
and  the  conception  and  development  of  them  were 
both  due  to  the  astounding  genius  of  Moltke. 


THE  MARCH  TO  SEDAN.  437 


CHAPTER   LXIV. 


THE      MAECH     TO     SEDAIST. 


Bazaixe  was  now  definitely  slint  np  in  Metz.  The 
battle  of  Augnst  16  had  cut  him  off  from  the  southern 
road  by  Mars-la-Tour,  the  march  on  August  18  had 
closed  the  road  by  Conflans,  the  storming  of  St. 
Privat  had  shut  up  tlie  third  and  last  avenue  of 
safety  by  way  of  Briey  and  Etain.  The  German 
army  was  now  to  undertake  the  difficult  task  of  keep- 
ing tlie  general  and  his  army  strictly  confined  in  the 
fortress  while  the  remainder  of  their  strength  was 
employed  in  action  on  the  field.  Eor  the  purpose  of 
carrying  out  these  two  objects,  the  King  separated 
three  corps  from  the  united  army,  the  twelfth  corps 
composed  of  Saxons,  the  corps  of  the  Guards,  and  the 
fourth  corps,  as  well  as  the  greater  part  of  the 
cacalrv.  This  armv  was  placed  under  the  command 
of  the  Crown  Prince  of  Saxony  and  received  the 
name  of  the  Army  of  the  Meuse,  being  destined  to 
march  upon  Paris  and  to  act  on  the  right  wing  of 
the  third  army.  The  remaining  parts  of  the  first 
and  second  armies  were  formed  into  a  Siege  Army — 
preserving  their  original  names  but  placed  under 
the  command  of  Prince  Frederick  Charles. 

The  Army  of  the  Siege,  gradually  strengthened 
by  the  arrival  of  reservists  and  other  soldiers,  at- 
tained at  best  the  number  of  one  hundred  and  fifty 


438  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

thousand  combatants.  It  invested  the  city  on  both 
sides  of  the  Moselle  and  was  stationed  in  trenches, 
batteries  and  parallels,  often  double  or  three-fold  in 
depth,  together  with  the  use  of  the  villages  lying 
within  the  region  of  the  lines.  The  foreposts  were 
jjushed  as  far  forward  as  the  fire  of  the  forts  per- 
mitted ;  indeed  they  were  generally  within  the  range 
of  the  heavy  ordnance,  and  only  the  reserves  were 
entirely  out  of  range.  The  whole  length  of  the  line 
of  investment  was  about  thirty  miles.  Observatories 
wereerected  on  all  lofty  points,  connected  by  telegraph 
with  each  other  or  with  the  different  headquarters, 
so  that  any  weakness  in  any  portion  of  the  blockade 
could  be  immediately  redressed.  The  fortress  was 
well  supplied  with  ammunition,  but  less  well  \Wtli 
provisions,  as  the  city  contained,  besides  the  army 
of  Bazaine,  its  own  inhabitants  and  those  of  much 
of  the  surrounding  countrv. 

Considering  the  difficulties  wliich  stood  in  his  way, 
it  is  creditable  to  Bazaine  that  he  was  already  pre- 
pared to  make  a  sortie  on  August  26,  when  Mac- 
Mahon's  army  was  marching  from  Rheims  to 
Ilcthel.  His  object  was  to  got  possession  of  Thion- 
ville,  and  to  force  his  way  to  Chalons  by  the  for- 
tresses of  the  north ;  but,  after  a  few  attempts  made  in 
the  direction  of  Xoiseville  and  Colombey,  he  became 
convinced  that  the  Prussian  general  was  his  master. 
Holding  a  council  of  war,  he  deferred  anv  further 
attempt  until  the  ground  should  have  hardened  after 
the  copious  storms  of  rain.  At  this  council  of  war 
General  Soleille  made  a  report  on  the  supplies  of 
munition  remaining  in  Metz,  and  Bazaine  sent  a 
telegram  to  the  j\Iinister  of  War  in  these  words: 
"  Still  in  Metz,  artillery  ammunition  only  sufficient 


THE  MARCH  TO  SEDAN.  439 

for  one  battle.  Impossible  under  these  circumstances 
to  break  through  the  entrenched  lines  of  the  besiegers. 
It  would  be  a  good  thing  if  attacks  from  the  interior 
could  comj^el  the  blockading  army  to  retreat."  A 
few  days  after  this  he  was  informed  that  the  second 
and  third  corps  of  the  besieging  army  had  withdrawn 
in  the  direction  of  Stenay  and  Dun,  in  order  to 
strengthen  the  army  of  the  Crown  Prince  of  Saxony, 
which  was  threatened  by  MacMahon.  Therefore  on 
August  31,  1870,  he  made  a  powerful  sortie,  with 
the  object  either  of  driving  the  Prussians  back  and 
regaining  his  freedom  of  action,  or  of  replenishing 
his  commissariat  and  thus  being  able  to  hold  out 
longer. 

He  chose  for  this  attempt  the  right  bank  of  the 
Moselle,  where  the  defences  of  the  enemy  were  less 
strong  and  where  his  enterprise  could  be  supported 
by  some  advanced  forts.  He  hoped  to  be  able  to 
reach  Saarlouis  and  Thionville,  and  from  thence  to 
restore  his  communication  with  the  army  of  Chalons. 
He  did  indeed  succeed,  towards  evening,  in  driving 
the  Germans  out  of  their  position  at  !N"oiseville  and 
Montey,  and  of  occupying  new  ground  even  as  far  as 
Colom'bey ;  but  he  was  eventually  repulsed  in  a  night 
attack  by  the  first  army  corps  and  a  division  of  the 
Landwehr,  together  with  forty  thousand  men,  under 
General  ]\[anteuffel.  Soon  afterwards  the  detached 
portion  of  the  army  returned  and  Bazaine  could  have 
no  further  hope  of  executing  his  plan.  By  Septem- 
ber 1  the  French  were  at  last  at  Metz  again.  It  is 
clear  from  this  that  by  the  victories  of  the  middle  of 
the  month  the  morale  of  the  German  army  had  been 
strengthened  and  that  of  the  French  army  had  been 
weakened.  The  surrender  of  the  army  in  Metz  was 
now  only  a  matter  of  time,  provisions  were  becoming 


440  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

scarce,  and  the  dav  after  the  great  sortie  the  besieged 
began  to  shiughter  their  hor.^es. 

The  Emperor  Xapoleon,  leaving  Bazaine's  army  at 
Metz  on  the  morning  of  Angust  16,  arrived  the  same 
evening  at  the  camp  of  Chalons  where  ]\Jarshal  Mac- 
Ma  hon  was  posted  with  the  first  and  twelfth  corps 
of  his  armv,  the  fifth  and  seventh  corps  having 
not  yet  arrived.  The  camp  was  sitnated  in  a  large 
plain,  supposed  to  be  identical  with  the  Catalaunian 
Fields, which  once  witnessed  the  defeat  of  the  Huns. 
Between  the  camp  of  Chalons  and  the  fortress  of 
Metz  stretches  a  table-land  diversified  with  hills, 
a  part  of  the  Ardennes ;  the  road  from  Chalons  to 
Metz  passes  by  Valmy  and  St.  Menehould,  famous 
for  the  defeat  of  the  French  monarchy  in  the  flight 
to  Varennes  and  the  triumph  of  the  Republic  in  the 
cannonade  of  Kellermann.  This  line  of  hills,  called 
the  Argonne,  is  pierced  by  the  Meuse  and  the  Marne, 
which  rises  in  the  heights  of  Langres,  and  by  the 
Aisne,  a  tributary  of  the  Gise.  A  row  of  fortresses 
of  the  second  and  third  rank  protect  the  valley  of 
the  l[euse  and  its  eastern  tributary  the  Chiers, 
towards  the  east  and  the  north,  the  principal  of 
them  being  Verdun,  Montmedy,  Sedan,  Mezieres, 
Langwy,  and  Givet.  This  territory  is  the  scene  of 
the  military  operations  of  September,  which  began 
with  the  battles  of  Beaumont  and  Sedan,  and  ended 
with  the  siege  of  Paris. 

Mac]\rahon's  army,  concentrated  at  Chalons,  con- 
sisted of  about  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  thousand 
infantry  and  twelve  thousand  cavalry.  He  had  under 
him  Generals  Ducrot,  De  Fa  illy,  Douay,  and  other 
leaders  of  the  former  Army  of  the  Rhine,  which 
now  bore  the  name  of  the  Army  of  Paris.     Shortly 


THE  MARCH  TO  SEDAN.  44I 

afterwards  General  Wimpffen  arrived  with  reinforce- 
ments from  Algiers.  General  Trocliii  was  originally 
in  the  camp,  but  being  appointed  by  !N"apoleon  to  be 
Governor  of  Paris,  and  to  the  command  of  the  forces 
destined  for  the  defence  of  the  capital,  he  soon  left 
to  take  up  his  new  duties.  At  the  council  of  war  held 
at  Chalons  on  August  17  it  had  been  determined  that 
the  Emperor  should  proceed  to  Paris  and  resume 
the  reins  of  government ;  also  that  MacMahon's  army 
should  march  on  Paris  and  accept  a  battle  there  if 
necessary.  However  the  Empress  and  the  Ministry 
were  afraid  that  if  the  Emperor  returned  to  the  Tuil- 
leries,  both  his  life  and  his  dynasty  would  be  in 
danger ;  they  were  also  opposed  to  the  retreat  of  Mac- 
^^lahon's  arm}'.  This  brought  about  a  most  unsatis- 
factory state  of  things.  The  Emperor  virtually  ab- 
dicated just  at  the  time  when  his  authority  was  most 
required,  and  MacMahon  Avas  not  left  to  his  own 
devices  in  the  command  of  his  army,  but  was  con- 
stantly interfered  with  both  by  the  Empress  Regent 
and  bv  the  ^linisters. 

The  Emperor  and  MacMahon  both  adhered  to  the 
original  plan  of  leading  the  Army  of  Chalons  back 
to  Paris,  or  at  least  to  the  neighbourhood  of  the 
capital ;  but  in  Paris  it  was  insisted  upon  that  Mac- 
AEahon  should  make  an  offensive  advance  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Verdun,  so  as  to  co-operate  with  Bazaine  and 
effect  a  junction  with  him.  MacMahon  had  grave 
doubts  as  to  the  success  of  this  bold  enterprise,  which 
could  only  produce  its  effect  if  Bazaine  could  succeed 
at  the  same  time  in  breaking  through  the  iron  em- 
brace of  the  Prussian  armies.  He  adopted  a  com- 
promise of  marching  to  Rheims  and  evacuated  the 
camp  on  the  morning  of  August  21.  The  store  of 
food,  forage  and  clothing  collected  there  was  des- 


442  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

trojed  and  the  camp  burned  down,  measures  which' 
were  dictated  by  fear  and  which  were  quite  unneces- 
sary. MacMahon  remained  at  Eheims  two  days, 
and  on  August  23,  in  obedience  to  stringent  orders 
from  Paris,  commenced  his  march  to  Montmedy, 
having  witli  him  an  army  of  one  hundred  and  forty 
thousand  men.  He  passed  by  way  of  Kethel,  Chene 
le  Populeux,  and  Mouzon  to  the  Meuse,  the  heads  of 
his  columns  reaching  this  latter  place  on  August  28. 
The  Army  of  Chalons  gradually  lost  confidence  in 
their  leaders.  Dejection  and  insiubordination  be- 
came rife,  and  the  rations  were  so  defective  that  the 
soldiers  had  to  resort  to  plunder.  Great  masses  of 
stragglers  followed  the  army,  and  wandered  over  the 
countrv. 

To  meet  this  unexpected  move  on  the  part  of  the 
French,  an  entirely  new  disposition  of  the  Prus- 
sian forces  was  required,  all  previous  arrangements 
having  been  made  on  the  supposition  of  a  march  to 
Paris.  The  fourth  German  army,  called  the  Army 
of  the  Meuse,  had  reached  the  range  of  the  Argonne, 
and  occupied  the  road  between  Clermont  and  Ste. 
Menehould,  but  it  was  not  of  itself  strong  enough  to 
oppose  MacMahon  if  he  should  operate  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Metz.  The  third  army  had  established  com- 
munication with  the  fourth,  but  the  two  armies  to- 
gether formed  a  line  of  forty-six  miles,  broken  at  a 
right  angle.  But  it  was  necessary,  in  order  to  effect 
MacMahon's  destruction,  to  require  from  the  third 
army  long  marches  to  the  east,  whilst  the  fourth 
army  had  to  detain  the  enemy  and  obstruct  his  por- 
gress.  These  complicated  operations  were  carried 
out  with  such  precision  that  in  no  single  case  did  a 
crossing  of  columns  occur,  and  this  rapid  wheel  to 
the  right  of  an  army  of  more  tlian  two  hundred  thou- 


THE  MARCH  TO  SEDAN.  443 

sand  men  and  its  concentration  at  the  determined 
point  has  probably  never  been  equalled  in  the  history 
of  war.  Even  the  great  difficulty  of  procuring  sub- 
sistence in  a  new  line  of  advance  was  met  by  the 
zeal  and  resource  of  the  commissariat. 

Orders  for  the  march  of  the  army  on  the  Meuse 
were  issued  by  the  King  on  the  evening  of  August 
25.  The  movements  of  the  German  armies  were  of 
such  a  nature  that  two  days  later  MacMahon  must 
have  seen  that  it  would  be  impossible  for  him  to  con- 
tinue his  march  on  Metz.  He  therefore  wished  to 
abandon  the  attempt  and  to  retreat  with  the  army 
of  Chalons  to  Mezieres.  But  he  was  overruled  by 
the  most  positive  commands  from  Paris  and  had  no 
alternative  but  to  obey.  He  made  preparations  for 
crossing  the  Meuse  on  August  29,  with  his  left  wing 
at  Mouzon  and  his  right  at  Stenay,  but  in  con- 
sequence of  an  engagement  at  j^ouart  he  was  obliged 
to  abandon  the  advance  on  Stenay  and  to  retreat  to 
Beaumont.  By  the  evening  of  August  29  the  net 
was  spread  out  in  all  directions,  by  means  of  w^iich 
the  French  army  was  forced  to  operate  in  a  narrow 
field  and  at  last  compelled  to  accept  a  battle  under 
the  most  unfavourable  circumstances. 

By  this  time  the  army  of  the  Crown  Prince  had 
reached  the  right  bank  of  the  Aisne,  after  coming 
into  conflict  with  the  enemy  at  Buzancy  and  Chene 
le  Populeux,  while  the  reinforced  fourth  army  had, 
after  the  engagement  at  J^ouart,  occupied  the  line 
of  the  Meuse  from  Dun  to  Stenay.  The  King  of 
Prussia  had  fixed  his  headquarters,  first  at  Cler- 
mont and  then  at  Varennes,  whilst  the  Emperor 
and  MacMahon  were  established  in  Mouzon.  Here 
the  news  reached  them  that  on  August  30  the  corps 
of  De  Failly  had  been  attacked  in  the  town  of  Beau- 


i4J:  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

iiiont  by  the  Bavarians  under  General  von  der  Tann, 
and  the  Saxons,  and  had  been  forced  to  retreat 
har^tily  to  Carignan  and  Sedan. 

We  have  seen  that  De  Failly  had  encamped  with 
the  fiftli  corps  on  the  heights  to  the  north  of  Beau- 
mont. He  liad  caHed  together  the  commandants  of 
the  several  divisions  at  9  a.^u,  and  their  reports  all 
agreed  that  the  enemy  were  not  pursuing.  Tlie 
march  on  ^Sfouzon  was  therefore  deferred  til}  H 
A.M.,  l)ut  no  efforts  were  made  to  reconnoitre  the 
wooded  country  south  of  Beaumont.  The  French 
troops  were  enjoying  their  ease,  the  men  employed 
in  cooking,  and  the  horses  being  taken  to  water,  when 
all  of  a  sudden  shells  fell  into  the  camp  and  every 
one  rushed  to  take  up  arms.  But  the  Prussian  in- 
fantry had  in  the  meantime  reached  the  camp,  and 
overmastered  its  defenders.  The  artillery  had  no 
time  to  harness  the  horses  and  to  put  them  to  the 
guns;  all  the  tents,  the  baggage  and  the  stores  fell 
into  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  The  troops  which 
had  been  encamped  to  the  north  of  the  town  were 
aide  to  offer  resistance,  but  De  Failly  was  at  last 
compelled  to  retreat.  The  battle  of  Beaumont  had 
a  decisive  effect,  the  fifth  corps  of  the  French  army 
l)eing  decimated.  It  lost  eighteen  hundred  men 
killed  and  wounded  and  had  to  leave  nineteen 
guns,  eight  mitrailleuses,  and  three  thousand  pris- 
oners in  the  hands  of  the  enemy. 

After  the  battle  the  Emperor  of  the  French  might 
even  then  have  escaped  to  Mezicres  and  have  secured 
the  safety  of  his  person,  but  he  refused  to  leave  the 
army,  lie  arrived  at  Carignan  at  4  p.m.  on  August 
30,  and  sent  a  reassuring  despatch  to  the  Empress, 
;^^ac]\[ahon  was  now  aware  that  the  army  of  Chalons 
had  been  overtaken  by  tlie  forces  of  the  enemy  in 


THE  MARCH  TO  SEDAN.  445 

far  greater  numbers  than  his  own.  It  had  become 
necessary  to  abandon  the  march  of  the  army  on 
Montmedv  and  the  attempt  to  relieve  Bazaine  at 
Metz.  The  choice  remained  between  accepting  a 
battle  at  Mouzon  and  retreating  to  the  west  without 
fighting  in  order  to  prevent  the  army  if  possible  from 
being  surrounded  by  the  enemy.  The  Marshal  there- 
fore determined  to  concentrate  his  forces  at  Sedan, 
which  could  only  be  effected  by  a  nidit  march. 
Every  preparation  had  been  made  for  the  Emperor 
passing  the  night  at  Carignan,  but  at  8  p.m.  he  left 
unexpectedly  bv  the  railway  for  Sedan,  which  is  about 
twelve  miles  off.  The  troops  marching  through  the 
night  reached  their  encampments  at  Sedan  on  the 
morning  of  August  31,  some  as  late  as  9  a.m. 

Whatever  designs  ]\Iac]\[ahon  may  have  had  in  re- 
treating to  Sedan  were  rendered  nugatory  by  the 
swift  advance  of  the  German  troops.  When  the 
fourth  army  marched  up  the  right  bank  of  the  Meuse 
and,  crossing  the  Chiers  at  Douzy,  occupied  the  east 
of  Sedan,  the  third  army,  composed  of  Xorth  Ger- 
mans, Bavarians  and  Wilrtemburgers,  and  provided 
with  excellent  artillery,  was  marching  along  the  left, 
bank  by  Raucourt  and  Remilly.  An  attempt  made 
by  the  Bavarians  to  pass  the  river  at  Bazeilles  was 
at  first  repulsed,  but  in  the  night  they  were  able  to 
cross  at  two  places  above  Sedan,  whilst  the  eleventh 
Xorth  German  corps  crossed  the  river  at  Donchery, 
and  the  Wiirtembergers  lower  down,  whilst  the  army 
of  the  Crown  Prince  of  Saxony  gained  the  heights  to 
the  east  and  north  of  the  town.  Thus  were  the 
French  enveloped  in  a  snare  from  which  there  was  no 
escape.  It  is  said  that  when  Moltke  received  the 
last  report  which  completed  the  intelligence  that  his 
plans  for  the  investment  of  the  French  army  had 


446  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

been  duly  carried  out,  he  made  a  note  in  his  pocket- 
book  and  uttered  the  words,  "  Es  stimmt,"  which 
may  be  somewhat  feebly  translated  by  the  English 
expression,  "  All  right  " — an  eloquent  exclamation 
from  the  famous  strategist  whose  distinction  was  to 
be  silent  in  seven  languages. 


SEDAN.  447 


CHAPTER  LXV. 


SEDAN. 


On  September  1,  1870,  the  French  army  at  Sedan 
was  confined  within  a  space  of  fonr  and  a  half  miles 
from  north  to  south,  and  two  miles  from  east  to  west. 
Sedan,  a  small  fortress,  lies  on  the  right  bank  of  the 
Meuse,  and  on  the  left  bank  is  a  suburb  called  Torcy, 
defended  by  a  tete-du-pont.  The  village  of  Bazeilles 
and  Balan,  a  suburb  of  Sedan,  are  on  the  right  bank 
of  the  river,  above  the  town;  on  the  east  are  the 
villages  of  Givonne,  Daigny,  and  Moncelle,  and  on 
the  north-west  those  of  Illy  and  Floing.  The  space 
between  Sedan  and  Bazeilles  on  the  right  bank  is 
low,  whereas  on  the  opposite  bank  the  high  ground 
comes  down  to  the  bank  of  the  river,  between  Remilly 
and  Wadelincourt.  The  wood  of  Garenne,  which 
played  an  important  part  in  the  battle,  lies  to  the 
north  of  the  town.  Sedan  is  seven  miles  distant 
from  the  Belgian  frontier.  The  right  wing  of  the 
French  held  Balan  and  Bazeilles  and  was  opposed 
by  the  Bavarians ;  then  came  the  first  French  corps 
at  Givonne  and  Daigny,  opposed  by  the  Prussian 
Guards  and  the  Saxons  of  the  twelfth  corps.  The 
positions  of  Illy  and  Floing  to  the  north  of  Sedan 
were  defended  by  the  seventh  French  corps  and  two 
cavalry  divisions,  and  was  attacked  by  the  eleventh 
and  fifth  corps,  together  with  some  cavalry.       The 


us  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

fifth  French  corps  was  posted  just  outside  Sedan  to 
act  as  a  general  reserve.  In  this  manner  the  attack 
upon  the  three  main  points  of  the  French  position 
Bazeilles,  the  valley  of  Givonne,  and  the  position  of 
Floing  and  Illy,  superior  forces  of  the  German  troops 
were  everywhere  available. 

The  battle  began  before  daylight  at  4  a.m.  by  the 
Bavarians  under  General  von  der  Tann  advancing 
to  attack  Bazeilles,  which  had  been  half  burnt  down 
on  the  day  before.  It  was  most  obstinately  de- 
fended in  the  streets,  houses,  and  gardens  both  by  sol- 
diers and  citizens  and  was  only  captured  after  a 
hard  struggle.  Unfortunately  for  the  French, 
Marshal  MacMahon,  who  had  ridden  into  the  fore- 
most line  of  combat,  was  so  severely  wounded  in  the 
very  beginning  of  the  battle  from  the  splinters  of  a 
shell,  that  he  had  to  surrender  the  command  and  was 
carried  back  into  Sedan,  meeting  the  Emperor  on 
his  way,  who  then  rode  into  the  battle.  The  com- 
mand would  naturally  pass  to  General  Wimpffen, 
who  had  just  arrived  from  Algiers,  but  MacMahon 
passed  him  over  and  entrusted  the  army  to  Ducrot. 
These  generals  differed  very  much  in  their  views  of 
military  matters,  and  neither  had  any  knowledge  of 
what  the  plans  of  MacMahon  had  been. 

Ducrot  assumed  the  command  at  7.30  a.m.,  and 
immediately  gave  commands  for  the  army  to  retire 
to  the  plateau  of  Illy,  in  order  that  they  might  force 
the  way  out  to  Mezieres;  Bazeilles  was  to  be 
evacuated  first  and  Givonne  last.  When  General 
Wimpffen  heard  of  this  he  disapproved  so  highly  of 
Ducrot's  tactics  that  he  determined  to  make  use  of  a 
power  which  had  been  given  him  to  assume  the  com- 


SEDAN.  449 

niand  under  certain  circumstances,  and  therefore  at 

9  A.M.  wrote  to  Ducrot  saying  that  he  had  been  au- 
thorised by  the  Minister  of  War  to  assume  the  chief 
command  in  case  of  any  accident  happening  to  Mac- 
Mahon,  and  that  he  disapproved  of  the  evacuation  of 
Bazeilles  and  Givonne.  But  when  the  Saxons  had, 
after  tremendous  eiJorts,  obtained  possession  of  the 
north-eastern  ridge  of  Villers  and  Cernay,  Daigny 
and  Givonne,  and  had  given  the  hand  to  the  Ba- 
varians, who  after  similar  efforts  had  become  masters 
of  Bazeilles  and  were  now  able  to  seize  the  heights  of 
La  Moncelle,  and  when  these  two  streams  of  con- 
querors united  to  drive  the  French  out  of  Balan  the 
issue  of  the  day  was  no  longer  doubtful. 

During  the  battle  the  Crown  Prince  took  his  stand 
on  a  hill  a  little  south  of  the  village  of  Donchery, 
and  the  King  of  Prussia  established  himself  at  a 
point  a  little  further  to  the  east  from  which  the 
whole  field  was  visible.  This  stationary  position  of 
the  two  commanders  throughout  the  dav  was  of  ffreat 
assistance  both  in  receiving  reports  and  in  sending 
orders,  and  as  we  have  seen  a  similar  course  was  almost 
always  adopted  by  the  Great  T^apoleon  in  his  battles. 
The  Bavarians  became  masters  of  Bazeilles  at  about 

10  A.M.  after  six  hours'  fighting.  Similar  attacks 
were  made  by  the  Saxons  on  the  other  side,  and 
shortly  after  this  the  whole  valley  of  the  Givonne 
with  all  the  villages  in  it  as  far  as  Daigny  was  held 
by  the  soldiers  of  these  two  great  German  races.  The 
French  artillery  had  been  compelled  to  retreat  to  a 
new  position  at  Balan,  and  all  possibility  of  the 
French  being  able  to  break  through  on  their  side  was 
at  an  end.     At  this  juncture  the  Emperor  rode  back 

29 


450  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

to  Sedan,  passing  through  Balan,  finding  that  he  was 
neglected  on  the  field  of  battle  and  that  his  physical 
powers  were  exhausted.  He  had  to  force  his  way 
through  crowds  of  runaway  troops,  who  were  taking 
refuge  in  the  fortress ;  shells  were  falling  in  the 
streets,  and  as  the  Emperor  rode  into  the  town  a 
shell  exploded  just  in  front  of  him,  killing  his  horse. 

In  the  meantime,  to  the  north-west,  the  Prussian 
troops  had  occupied  St.  Menges  and  Fleigneux,  and 
were  directing  a  terrible  artillery  fire  on  the  French 
divisions  who  were  defending  Floing  and  Illy.  At 
midday  the  French  were  so  completely  surrounded 
that  only  two  means  of  escape  remained  to  them, 
either  to  break  out  between  Givonne  and  Fleigneux 
and  reach  the  Belgian  frontier,  or  to  cross  the  Meuse 
into  the  suburbs  of  Torcy  and  fight  their  way  through 
the  enemy  to  Rheims.  The  boldest  general  might 
Avell  hesitate  before  adopting  either  of  these  courses, 
as  the  result,  even  if  successful,  could  only  be  ac- 
complished after  very  heavy  loss.  ISTot  long  after 
this  Illy  was  taken  by  the  advance  of  the  Prussian 
Guards,  the  iron  ring  closed  more  and  more  pitilessly 
around  the  fortress,  and  at  last  the  position  of  Floing 
had  also  to  be  given  up. 

When  Wimpffen  saw  that  the  state  of  the  army 
was  hopeless  he  determined  to  make  the  desperate 
attempt  of  cutting  his  way  out  towards  the  east,  so  as 
to  reach  ]\rontmedy  with  the  Emperor  and  what  he 
could  rescue  of  the  arm  v.  So  at  1.15  p.m.  he  in- 
vited  the  Emperor  to  place  himself  at  the  head  of  his 
troops,  who  would  think  it  an  honour  to  provide  for 
his  personal  safety.  The  Emperor  received  this 
letter  at  2  p.m.,  but  declined  to  accede  to  the  proposi- 


SEDAN,  452 

tion.  After  waiting  an  hour  for  an  answer 
Wimpffen  rode  first  to  Givonne  and  then  to  Balan, 
but  found  that  in  both  places  his  troops  had  re- 
treated. Alone  and  without  a  staff,  and  having  no 
troops  to  command,  there  was  nothing  left  for  him 
but  to  retire  into  the  fortress  of  Sedan  as  others  had 
done  before  him.  It  was  now  3  p.m.^  broken  bodies 
of  the  French  were  flying  in  all  directions,  some  to 
the  wood  of  Garenne,  some  to  Sedan.  The  Prus- 
sians advanced  against  the  wood  and  took  many  pris- 
oners; some  even  pressed  up  to  Sedan,  where  they 
were  exposed  to  the  fire  of  the  fortress,  but  they  suc- 
ceeded in  cutting  off  the  retreat  from  a  number  of 
French  detachments. 

Half  an  hour  later  General  Ducrot  rode  into  the 
toA\Ti,  and  everything  which  met  his  gaze  induced 
him  to  abandon  hope.  The  streets  and  squares  were 
blocked  with  guns,  and  with  waggons  of  every  de- 
scription, hordes  of  soldiers  who  had  thrown  away 
their  arms  and  knapsacks  rushed  into  the  houses  in 
search  of  food  and  to  the  churches  for  shelter. 
There  was  nothing  before  him  but  a  chaotic  mob, 
calling  out  "  Treachery "  and  threatening  to  kill 
their  ofiicers.  Ducrot  found  the  Emperor  at  the 
Sous-Prefecture  in  a  state  of  deep  dejection  and  per- 
fectly hopeless.  He  had  already  hoisted  a  white 
flag  on  the  citadel,  but  it  had  been  taken  down  by 
the  orders  of  General  Faure,  chief  of  the  staff.  An- 
other flag  of  truce  was  sent  and  Wimpffen  received 
the  Emperor's  orders  to  cease  firing  and  to  open 
negotiations,  but  being  determined  to  make  another 
attempt  to  break  through  the  lines  he  positively  re- 
fused to  obey.     He  managed  to  get  together  a  force 


452  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  about  two  tlioiisand  men,  and,  accompanied  by 
two  guns,  got  as  far  as  Balan,  but  soon  afterwards, 
as  he  was  riding  at  the  head  of  the  column,  he  looked 
round  and  found  that  all  his  men  had  disappeared, 
so  that  he  was  forced  to  retire  to  Sedan. 

At  about  5.30  p.m.  the  King  of  Prussia  sent 
Colonel  Bronsart  von  Schellendorf  to  Sedan  with  a 
flag  of  truce,  to  smnmon  the  French  commandant 
to  capitulate.  On  entering  the  Prefecture,  to  his 
great  astonishment  he  found  himself  face  to  face 
with  the  Emperor,  whom  he  did  not  know^  to  be  in 
the  fortress.  The  Emperor  had  apparently  just 
written  a  letter  to  the  King  in  the  following  terms: 
'*  IXot  having  been  able  to  find  death  in  the  midst 
of  my  soldiers,  nothing  remains  for  me  but  to  de- 
liver mv  sword  into  the  hands  of  vour  maiestv." 
This  letter  was  carried  by  the  Emjieror's  own  aide- 
de-camp.  General  Keille,  who  handed  it  to  the  King 
of  Prussia  shortly  after  7  p.m.  The  King  was  deep- 
ly moved ;  he  first  rendered  thanks  to  God,  and  then 
informed  the  German  princes  of  what  had  occurred, 
thanking  them  for  their  assistance,  without  which  his 
success  would  have  been  impossible.  He  replied  to 
the  Emperor  that  he  regretted  the  manner  of  their 
meeting,  that  he  accepted  his  sword,  and  he  re- 
quested him  to  send  some  person  with  full  power  to 
conclude  the  capitulation. 

The  King,  having  committed  the  care  of  military 
matters  to  Count  Moltke  and  of  political  matters 
to  Count  Bismarck,  left  the  field  of  battle  and  drove 
fourteen  miles  to  his  headquarters  at  Vendresse 
which  he  reached  at  11  p.m.  At  Sedan  a  violent 
quarrel  broke  out  between  Dncrot  and  Wimpffen  in 


SEDAN.  453 

the  Emperor's  presence,  which  Avas  ended  by  the  Em- 
peror commanding  Wimpffon  to  proceed  to  Don- 
chery  and  discuss  the  details  of  the  surrender,  an  <^ 

armistice  having  been  previously  concluded  which 
was  to  last  till  4  a.m.  on  September  2.  The  discussion 
with  regard  to  the  terms  of  the  capitulation  lasted 
throughout  the  night.  Wimpffen  asked  that  his 
army  might  be  allowed  to  retreat  with  arms  and 
baggage,  promising  not  to  serve  against  the  German 
armies  again  till  the  end  of  the  war;  Moltke  insisted 
upon  the  unconditional  surrender  of  the  whole  army 
as  prisoners  of  war.  When  Wimpffen  threatened  to 
renew  the  struggle  he  was  reminded  that  his  army 
was  decimated,  that  he  had  food  only  for  forty-eight 
hours,  and  that,  if  he  did  not  consent,  a  fire  of  three 
hundred  guns  should  be  opened  upon  the  city  and  the 
troops  as  soon  as  the  armistice  expired. 

The  next  morning  the  council  of  war  which  as- 
sembled at  Sedan  at  7  a.m.  agreed  that  no  other 
course  was  possible  except  to  sign  the  capitulation  on 
the  terms  proposed,  and  it  was  only  by  the  personal 
intervention  of  the  Emperor  that  in  consideration  of 
the  brave  defence  made  by  the  French  army,  the 
generals,  officers  and  military  employes  holding  the 
rank  of  officer  were  excepted  from  the  capitulation 
on  condition  of  giving  their  word  of  honour  in 
writing  not  to  serve  during  the  present  war,  or  to 
act  in  any  way  contrary  to  the  interests  of  Ger- 
many. The  Emperor  met  the  King  of  Prussia  at  the 
Chateau  of  Belleville,  and  it  was  arranged  that  he 
should  reside  at  the  Palace  of  Wilhelmshohe,  near 
Cassel,  so  long  as  he  remained  a  prisoner  of  war. 
On  the  following  day  he  drove  to  the  Belgian  town 


464  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  Bouillon,  and  when  he  entered  his  quarters  was 
ervino;  bitterly. 

The  French  prisoners  of  war,  after  laying  down 
their  arms,  were  taken  to  a  tongue  of  land  at  Iges, 
which  is  surrounded  on  three  sides  by  the  Meuse, 
there  to  await  their  removal  to  Germany.  Unfor- 
tunately they  underwent  great  sufferings,  as  the  rain 
converted  the  ground  on  which  they  bivouacked  into 
mud.  There  was  also  a  deficiency  of  food,  as  the 
French  had  none  whatever,  and  the  Germans  were 
hardly  able  to  produce  eighty  thousand  more  rations 
tlian  they  required  for  themselves.  A  strange 
feature  of  the  capitulation  was  formed  by  the  French 
cavalry  horses,  which  had  been  let  to  run  loose.  Ten 
thousand  of  them  forming  into  one  or  two  large 
bodies,  galloped  wildly  over  the  country  like  a  hurri- 
cane, doing  much  damage  in  their  course.  Many  of 
them  fought  together  with  their  hoofs  and  teeth  and 
were  drowned  in  the  Meuse.  The  numbers  which 
took  part  in  the  battle  of  Sedan  were,  on  the  German 
side,  one  hundred  and  twenty-one  thousand  infantry 
and  six  hundred  and  eighteen  guns,  no  cavalry  having 
been  employed ;  on  the  French  side  between  sixty  and 
seventy  thousand,  with  three  hundred  and  twenty 
ffims  and  seventy  mitrailleuses.  The  battle  was  one 
of  the  longest  in  duration  of  the  great  battles  of 
modern  times,  having  lasted  without  intermission 
from  6  A.M.  till  4  p.m.  The  reason  of  this  was  tliat 
no  time  had  to  be  spent  on  the  deploying  of  the  at- 
tacking army.  The  losses  on  the  German  side 
amounted  altogether  to  9,860,  and  on  the  French  to 
thirteen  thousand ;  besides  this  there  were  taken  in 
the  battle  twenty-five  thousand  unwounded  French 


SEDAN.  455 

prisoners,  besides  seven  thousand  men  and  five  hun- 
dred horses  which  escaped  into  Belgium,  making-  the 
total  French  losses  in  September  forty-one  thousand 
men,  considerably  more  than  half  their  entire  force. 
By  the  capitulation  of  September  2  eighty-three 
thousand  men  surrendered  as  prisoners  of  war,  in- 
cluding the  wounded  and  the  non-combatants. 
Among  the  prisoners  were  2,866  ofiicers,  including 
Marshal  MacMahon  and  forty  generals. 

As  one  portion  of  the  French  army  was  shut  up  in 
Metz  and  the  other  had  been  compelled  to  capitulate 
at  Sedan,  there  was  no  further  obstacle  to  the  ad- 
vance of  the  third  and  fourth  armies  on  Paris.  In- 
deed the  orders  for  the  advance  were  signed  within 
an  hour  after  the  conclusion  of  the  capitulation  and 
the  troops  commenced  their  march  on  September  3. 
It  was  thought  by  many  and  hoped  by  more  that  the 
war  might  now  be  considered  at  an  end,  but  this  was 
not  to  be  the  case.  The  Empire  was  overthrown  on 
September  4 ;  the  government  of  the  Regency  was 
compelled  to  fly  and  the  Republic  was  proclaimed, 
taking  as  its  motto,  "  La  Guerre  a  entrance !  " — a 
war  which  lasted  for  six  months^  until  it  ended 
favourably  for  the  German  armies  by  the  defeat  of 
the  republican  forces  and  the  capture  of  Paris. 


^56  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 


CHAPTER  LXVL 

THE  WAR  IX   THE   PROVIXCES. 

The  new  Republican  government  proclaimed  bj 
the  mouth  of  Jules  Favre  its  programme  to  be,  ''  Xot 
a  foot  of  our  territory,  nor  a  stone  of  our  fortresses." 
^Vlien  the  battle  of  Sedan  took  place  General  Vinoy 
was  on  his  way  from  Chalons  to  Mezieres  with  Mac- 
Mahon ;  but  on  hearing  of  the  defeat  he  returned 
to  Paris,  collecting  a  certain  number  of  stragglers 
on  his  way.  His  troops  formed  the  kernel  of  the 
army  of  defence  with  which  Trochu  expected  to 
protect  the  forts  and  the  capital  from  the  advancing 
enemy.  Besides  this  were  collected  all  arm-bearing 
people  who  could  be  of  any  kind  of  use — marines, 
custom-house  officers,  fire  brigades,  gamekeepers, 
policemen  both  horse  and  foot,  discharged  soldiers — 
so  that  the  whole  number  amounted  to  four  hundred 
thousand.  In  the  meantime  the  two  armies  which 
had  fought  at  Sedan  were  on  the  march  to  Paris 
under  the  command  of  the  Crown  Princes  of  Prussia 
and  Saxony.  On  September  5  General  Tiimpling 
concentrated  the  whole  of  the  sixth  army  corps  in 
Rheims,  and  on  September  15  the  King  visited  the 
same  city  before  establishing  his  headquarters  at 
Meaux. 

The  agitation  in  Paris  became  more  riotous  as 
the  population  saw  that  the  city  was  being  gradually 


THE  WAR  IN  THE  PROVINCES.  45T 

invested,  the  Crown  Prince  of  Saxonj  occupying  the 
right  bank  of  the  Seine  and  the  lower  Marne  on  the 
line  from  Argenteuil  bv  Montmagnv  and  Blanc 
]\Ienil,  and  through  the  wood  of  Bondy  to  Gournay ; 
and  the  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia  with  the  third 
army  the  left  bank  of  the  Seine  from  Gournay  to 
Bonneuil,  Choisy-le-Roi,  Thiais,  Chevilly,  Sceaux, 
Meudon,  Sevres,  and  Bougival.  The  two  armies 
touched  each  other  at  the  peninsula  of  Argenteuil. 
The  forces  occupied  in  this  investment,  which 
eventually  by  reinforcements  reached  the  number  of 
two  hundred  and  fifty  thousand,  were  divided  in  such 
a  way  that  the  Prussians  occupied  the  north  and 
west,  the  Bavarians  the  south,  the  Saxons  the  east, 
while  the  Wiirtembergers  watched  the  line  of  for- 
tresses. After  the  combats  of  Petit-Bicetre  and 
Chatillon  on  September  19  the  investment  was  com- 
plete, six  army  corps  occupying  a  space  of  fifty  miles, 
and  standing  in  some  places  within  the  fire  of  the 
fortifications. 

Under  the  reigns  of  Louis  Philippe  and  Xapoleon 
III.  Paris  had  been  converted  into  a  fortress  of  the 
first  rank,  its  river  line  of  defences  being  composed 
of  ninety-four  armed  bastions,  its  second  line  by  a 
circle  of  advanced  forts,  well  provided  with  garrisons 
and  guns,  one  of  which,  Mont  Valerien,  was  regarded 
as  impregnable;  and  besides  the  double  row  of  de- 
fences, the  hills  surounding  Paris  were  furnished 
with  entrenchments  and  redoubts,  all  connected  with 
each  other.  The  Germans  placed  their  confidence 
in  famine,  and  believed  that  if  they  carefully  cut  off 
all  supplies  of  food,  a  population  of  two  millions, 
many  of  whom  were  accustomed  to  luxury  and  self- 


458  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

indulgence,  could  not  hold  out  for  very  long.  Great 
pains  Avere  therefore  taken  to  make  the  lines  of  in- 
vestment impenetrable. 

Paris  and  Metz  were  not  the  only  cities  which 
were  being  besieged  by  the  German  armies.  On 
September  23  Toul,  an  ancient  city  of  Lorraine, 
which  formed  with  Metz  and  Verdun  the  "  three 
bishoprics"  which  were  the  first  territory  trans- 
ferred from  the  Teutons  to  the  French,  capitulated 
after  a  terrible  bombardment.  The  possession  of  this 
city  opened  for  the  Germans  direct  railway  communi- 
cations with  the  Rhine,  and  a  few  days  later,  on  Sep- 
tember 27,  Strasburg,  the  great  frontier  city  of  the 
Hhine,  the  most  important  acquisition  of  Louis  XVL, 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Germans,  having  held  out 
since  August  10.  It  is  not  our  purpose  to  relate 
the  details  of  these  sieges,  which  resemble  each  other 
in  the  endurance  and  the  suffering  of  the  defenders 
and  the  tenacity  of  the  assailants.  In  the  bombard- 
ment which  preceded  the  regular  siege,  W'hich  may 
be  dated  from  August  29,  great  pains  were  taken  to 
spare  the  cathedral,  and  it  was  only  slightly  injured. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  public  library,  consisting  of 
three  hundred  thousand  volumes,  many  of  great 
value,  was  entirely  destroyed,  although  the  French 
might  have  preserved  it  by  concealing  it  in  the 
ample  cellars  which  formed  the  basement  of  the 
building.  Some  novelties  which  distinguished  the 
siege  ought  to  be  mentioned:  first,  the  use  of  rifled 
short  twenty-four  pounders  and  rifled  twenty-six 
centimetre  mortars,  weighing  each  seven  tons; 
secondly,  the  construction  of  batteries  beyond  the 
second  parallel;  and  thirdly,  the  use  of  indirect  fire 


THE  WAR  IN  THE  PROVINCES.  459 

for  breaching.  This  was  done  by  curved  fire  at  a 
thousand  yards'  distance,  when  the  wall  to  be 
breached  could  not  be  seen,  but  only  ascertained  by 
careful  measurement.  Also  the  enemy's  mines  were 
unloaded  and  then  used  for  the  careful  observation 
of  the  enemy's  works. 

After  Strasburg  had  fallen  General  von  Werder 
was  sent  with  the  fourteenth  army  corps  to  reduce 
the  southern  part  of  Alsatia  from  Schlettstadt  to 
Belfort,  and  to  clear  out  the  Mobiles  and  the  Free 
Corps  from  the  passes  of  the  Vosges.  On  October 
5  King  William  transferred  his  headquarters  from 
Ferrieres,  the  luxurious  chateau  of  the  Rothschilds, 
to  Versailles,  the  ancient  palace  of  the  Bourbon 
kings,  and  from  this  centre  the  siege  of  Paris  Avas 
conducted.  On  October  13,  1870,  the  Chateau  of 
St.  Cloud,  so  notable  in  French  history,  was  set  on 
fire  by  the  projectiles  of  the  French  themselves,  and 
the  Germans  had  the  greatest  difficulty  in  preserving 
the  valuable  objects  and  the  works  of  art  contained 
in  the  rooms.  A  few  days  later  the  Imperial  Palace 
of  Malmaison,  with  all  its  treasures,  was  destroyed 
in  a  sortie. 

A  new  character  was  given  to  the  struggle  on 
October  7,  1870,  by  Leon  Gambetta,  a  man  of  genius 
and  remarkable  energy,  who  had  left  Paris  in  a 
balloon,  joining  the  Provisional  Government  at 
Tours;  he  used  every  effort  to  rouse  the  country 
against  the  invaders,  and  to  compel  the  retirement 
of  the  besieging  army.  For  this  purpose  France, 
with  the  exception  of  Paris,  was  divided  into  four 
governments,  that  of  the  north  under  Bourbaki  with 
Lille  for  its  capital,  that  of  the  south  under  Fiereck 


460  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

in  Le  Mans,  that  of  the  centre  nnder  Pohles  in 
Bonrges,  and  that  of  the  east  nnder  Cambriels  in 
Besaneon,  and  that  eleven  camps  of  instruction  and 
defence  should  be  formed  for  resistance  against  the 
enemy.  Also  two  armies  named  respectively  from  the 
Loire  and  the  Sonime  were  to  advance  upon  Paris 
and  he  assisted  by  sorties  made  under  the  direction  of 
Trocliu,  who  was  military  commandant  of  the  cap- 
ital. This  policy  gave  rise  to  the  sorties  of  October 
13  and  October  21,  the  first  in  the  south  and  the 
second  in  the  west,  and  the  more  important  attack  on 
Le  Bourget  to  the  north-east  which  took  place  on 
October  28.  The  French  succeeded  in  driving  the 
Germans  from  Le  Bourget  and  holding  it  for  two 
days,  but  they  were  eventually  driven  back  after  an 
obstinate  engagement.  There  were  great  difficulties 
in  keeping  up  communications  between  the  capital 
and  the  provinces,  because  the  invaders  had  destroyed 
all  the  telegraph  wires ;  but  this  want  was  supplied 
to  some  extent  by  carrier-pigeons  and  balloons. 

In  forming  his  plans  for  the  relief  of  Paris  Gam- 
betta  had  counted  upon  the  co-operation  of  Bazaine 
and  his  army,  who  were  shut  up  in  Metz ;  but  before 
the  organisation  of  the  Seine  army  was  complete  this 
fortress  capitulated.  On  October  11  Bazaine  sent 
one  of  his  adjutants.  General  Boyer,  to  the  head- 
quarters at  Versailles  to  propose  terms.  He  de- 
manded for  his  army  a  free  departure  with  arms  and 
baggage  with  the  obligation  not  to  take  part  in  the 
war  for  three  months,  whilst  Metz  preserved  the 
riffht  of  defending  herself.  At  the  same  time 
private  negotiations  were  conducted  between  Bazaine 
and  the  Empress  Eugenie  in  England  with  the  object 


THE  WAR  IN  THE  PROVINCES.  461 

of  eraploving  the  army  of  Metz  for  the  restoration  of 
the  Empire;  but  the  history  of  these  is  imperfectly 
known.  These  negotiations  led  to  no  resnlt,  and 
Bazaine  was  at  last  compelled  to  capitulate  on 
similar  terms  to  the  French  army  in  Sedan,  when 
his  troops  had  been  brought  to  the  verge  of  starva- 
tion, and  his  available  troops  had  been  reduced  in 
numbers  by  sickness  to  seventy  thousand.  General 
Changarnier  arranged  the  terms  by  which  Metz  and 
its  fortifications,  with  arms,  munitions  of  war,  and 
provisions,  were  delivered  to  the  enemy,  and  the 
whole  army,  including  three  marshals,  Bazaine, 
Canrobert,  and  Leba?uf,  six  thousand  officers,  and 
more  than  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  soldiers, 
became  prisoners  of  war.  The  disarmament  took 
place  on  October  26  and  27  in  a  meadow  on  the  road 
between  Jarny  and  Metz.  In  recognition  of  this 
crowning  mercy  the  Crown  Prince  and  Prince  Fred- 
erick Charles  of  Prussia  were  made  Field-marshals, 
and  Moltke  was  created  a  Count. 

In  the  last  month  of  1870  the  northern  half  of 
France  from  the  Jura  to  the  English  Channel,  from 
the  frontier  of  Belgium  to  the  Loire,  was  one  broad 
battlefield.  Of  the  forces  set  free  by  the  fall  of 
Metz,  part  remained  behind  as  a  garrison  under 
General  von  Zastrow,  with  the  additional  object  of 
attacking  Thionville,  and  part  marched  to  the  north 
under  the  command  of  Manteuffel  to  occupy  Picardy 
and  Xormandy  and  to  prevent  the  army  of  General 
Bourbaki  from  approaching  Paris.  A  third  division 
joined  the  second  army,  whose  commander  Prince 
Frederick  Charles  had  his  headquarters  in  Troyes, 
and,  supported  on  the  right  by  the  troops  of  Von 


462  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

der  Tann,  and  the  Duke  of  Mecklenbiirg-Schwerin, 
and  on  the  left  by  the  forces  of  General  Werder, 
made  head  on  the  one  side  against  the  French  army 
of  the  Loii-e,  and  on  the  other  against  the  free  corps 
of  Garibaldi  in  the  east.  A  fourth  contingent  went 
to  strengthen  tlie  besieging  forces  around  Paris ;  and 
other  detachments  were  sent  against  the  fortresses  of 
the  north. 

In  consequence  of  these  movements,  Soissons  sur- 
rendered on  October  1(3,  Verdun  on  November  8, 
Thionville  on  November  24,  Ham  on  December  10, 
Phalzbourg  on  December  12,  and  Montmedy  on 
December  14.  Mezieres  fell  on  January  2,  1871. 
Tlie  garrisons  of  all  these  fortresses  were  sent  as 
prisoners  to  Germany,  and  the  spoil  which  they  con- 
tained went  to  swell  the  jiossessions  of  the  con- 
querors. The  little  mountainous  fortress  of  Bitsch 
was  never  taken,  and  did  not  come  into  the  possession 
of  the  Germans  till  the  peace. 

We  have  seen  that  General  von  Werder,  after  the 
fall  of  Strasburg,  proceeded  to  the  conquest  of 
Schlett»tadt,  Neu-Breisach,  and  Belfort,  and  to  the 
occupation  of  the  mountain  districts  of  the  Vosges 
and  the  Jura.  He  had  here  to  deal  with  a  guerilla 
warfare,  which  dej^ended  for  its  support  on  the  for- 
tress of  Langres,  and  his  forces  were  hardly  suffi- 
cient for  the  task  which  he  was  expected  to  ac- 
complish. By  the  end  of  October  Schlettstadt  and 
Neu-Breisach  were  reduced,  but  the  last  army,  which 
had  been  first  formed  at  Lyons  under  Cambriels, 
was  now  joined  by  Garibaldi  and  his  two  sons,  Ric- 
ciotti  and  l\renotti,  bringing  with  them  a  motley 
crew  of  republicans   of   all   nationalities,    Italians, 


THE  WAR  IN  THE  PROVINCES.  463 

Spaniards,  and  Poles.  With  considerable  difficulty 
Dijon,  the  ancient  capital  of  Burgundy,  was  cap- 
tured on  October  31.  1870,  and  was  occupied  by 
Prince  William  of  Baden  with  the  view  of  prevent- 
ing the  Germans  from  being  interfered  with  in  their 
prosecution  of  the  important  fortress  of  Belfort. 
But  he  was  several  times  compelled  to  evacuate  it 
by  the  pressure  of  the  army  of  the  East,  and  the 
attack  on  Chatillon-sur-Seine,  made  by  Ricciotti 
Garibaldi  on  the  night  of  J^ovember  20,  showed  to 
what  dangers  the  invading  army  were  exposed. 

Gambetta  had  now  to  succeed  in  involving  the 
whole  French  nation  in  the  struggle  against  the  Ger- 
mans and  in  making  the  annihilation  of  the  enemv  a 
national  duty.  This  added  very  largely  to  the  cruel 
nature  of  the  war,  and  the  outrages  against  German 
troops  had  to  be  put  down  by  severe  reprisals.  The 
cavalry  regiments,  which  were  sent  in  the  month  of 
October  in  a  southerly  direction  to  examine  the 
country  between  the  Seine  and  the  Loire,  and  to 
make  requisitions,  fell  in  with  the  rear-guard  of  the 
array  of  the  Loire,  under  General  de  la  Motterouge, 
who  was  marching  to  the  relief  of  Paris.  The 
Crown  Prince,  hearing  that  they  were  in  Toury,  be- 
tween Orleans  and  Etampes,  sent  against  them  Gen- 
eral von  der  Tann  with  the  first  Bavarian  army 
corps  and  some  jS^orth  German  troops.  They  came 
up  with  the  rear  of  the  retreating  French  at  Artenay 
on  October  10,  and  compelled  them  to  fight  in  the 
forest  of  Orleans,  and  on  the  following  day  took  pos- 
session of  the  town.  Motterouge  was  deprived  of  his 
command  by  Gambetta,  who  transferred  it  to  Au- 
relles  de  Paladines,  who  had  served  in  Africa,  the 
Crimea,  and  Italy. 


404:  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

The  new  commander  got  together  the  various  con- 
tingents, which  liad  been  formed  and  practised  in  the 
several  camps  of  instruction,  and  set  himself  not  only 
to  recover  the  line  of  the  Loire,  but  to  cross  the 
stream  at  various  points,  and  to  carrv  out  the  original 
plan  of  a  march  on  Paris.  Although  great  pains 
were  taken  to  conceal  these  movements,  they  came  to 
the  ears  of  Von  der  Tann.  In  order  that  his  flank 
might  not  be  turned  he  evacuat-ed  Orleans  on 
I^ovember  8,  leaving  his  sick  behind  him  in  the 
charge  of  the  municipality,  as  he  hoped  to  return. 
General  Wittich  also,  who  liad  captured  Chateau- 
dun  with  great  sacrifice  on  October  18,  was  ordered 
to  retreat  to  Chartres.  A  severe  battle  took  place  at 
(\:)ulmiers  on  Xovember  10,  in  which  the  French 
^vere  much  superior  in  numbers,  and  Von  der  Tann 
had  some  diificulty  in  effecting  his  retreat  to  Toury, 
where  he  was  joined  by  General  Wittich.  The  battle 
lasted  from  7  a.m.  till  5  p.m.^  from  daybreak  till 
dusk,  and  caused  the  French  a  loss  of  two  thousand 
dead  and  wounded,  whereas  the  German  loss  did  not 
much  exceed  the  half,  marking  the  difference  between 
seasoned  troops  and  brave  but  inexperienced  levies. 

This  success  was  the  occasion  of  great  rejoicing 
to  the  French  and  of  great  discouragement  to  the 
Germans.  Gambetta,  to  whose  energy  and  genius 
it  was  greatly  due,  did  everything  in  his  power  to 
increase  tlie  forces  at  his  disposal  and  to  unite  the 
whole  power  of  the  south  and  west  in  a  common 
action.  He  summoned  up,  as  it  were  from  the  soil, 
new  forces  from  the  s^uth ;  lie  hastened  in  persou 
to  the  camp  of  Conlie  in  Brittany  to  reunite  the  two 
generals,  Charette  and  Keratry,  who  had  quarrelled. 


THE  WAR  IN  THE  PROVINCES.  465 

But  his  principal  hope  for  the  salvation  of  France 
and  the  deliverance  of  Paris  from  the  iron  ring  which 
enclosed  her  was  in  the  Armv  of  the  Loire,  and  the 
energetic  leadership  of  Aurelles  de  Paladines.  But 
as  before  enthusiasm  and  zeal  were  no  match  for 
discipline  and  experience.  The  German  troops 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Loire  were  united  in  a 
sinffle  armv  under  the  command  of  the  Grand  Duke 
Frederick  Francis  of  Schwerin.  A  week  after  the 
disastrous  retreat  of  Toury  he  inflicted  such  defeats 
at  Dreux,  at  Chateauneuf ,  at  Bigny,  and  in  the  forest 
of  St.  Jean,  upon  the  bodies  of  the  Gardes  ]\robiles, 
who  under  General  Fiereck  were  attempting  to  join 
the  army  of  the  Loire,  that  he  not  only  prevented  the 
threatened  junction,  but  created  such  dismay  amongst 
the  lines  that  Keratrv  laid  down  his  command  and 

t. 

Fiereck  had  to  be  superseded. 

The  Grand  Duke  now  received  orders  to  move 
further  to  the  east  and  to  join  the  Second  Army  under 
Prince  Frederick  Charles.  The  result  of  this  was 
the  indecisive  battle  of  Beaune  la  Rolande,  fought 
on  November  28,  1870,  north-east  of  the  forest  of 
Orleans,  in  which  the  French  were  as  numerous 
as  the  Germans.  Both  sides  were  fully  aware  of 
the  great  importance  of  the  battle,  and  of  the  in- 
fluence it  would  have  in  the  progress  of  the  war. 
It  was  therefore  contested  with  the  utmost  energy, 
and  the  losses  on  either  side  were  proportionately 
great.  The  Germans,  however,  gained  the  victory 
and  the  French  were  foiled  in  this  design  of  penetrat- 
ing to  Paris  bv  wav  of  Fontainebleau.  Further  at- 
tempts  to  push  through  to  the  west  were  repelled  by 
a  number  of  engagements  fought  by  the  Grand  Duke 
30 


4:^6  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

of  Meeklenbiirg-Scliwerin  between  Artenaj  and 
Chateaudun,  the  most  important  of  which  was  the 
battle  of  Loigny  fought  on  December  2,  the  great 
day  of  the  fallen  Empire.  The  French  were  com- 
pelled to  retreat  with  great  loss,  but  the  losses  on  the 
German  side  had  also  been  considerable,  and  their 
difficulties  were  increased  bj  the  endless  exertions 
caused  bv  the  nature  of  the  marshv  soil,  now 
tliorouglilj  soaked  with  rain,  and  bv  the  cold  of 
winter  which  now  began  to  make  itself  felt. 


II 


THE  SIEGE  OF  PARIS.  467 


CHAPTER     LXVII. 


THE  SIEGE  OF  PARIS. 


Tkochu^  who  commanded  at  Paris,  was  not 
ignorant  of  the  efforts  which  were  being  made  to  re- 
lieve him.  He  did  his  best  to  second  them  by  re- 
peated sorties,  to  the  south  and  the  west.  But  the 
possibility  of  relief  from  the  side  of  the  Loire 
was  gradually  coming  to  an  end.  The  day  after  the 
battle  of  Loigny  the  French  were  driven  back  from 
Poupry,  and  the  result  of  four  days'  fighting  on 
the  banks  of  the  Loire  and  the  edge  of  the  thick 
forest  which  protects  the  city  was  that  the  French 
were  driven  from  the  centre  which  they  had  held 
so  long,  were  compelled  to  retire  to  the  south,  and 
that  the  Germans  entered  Orleans  on  December  4. 
The  attempts  made  by  Trochu  at  the  same  time  to 
break  through  the  lines  of  investment  and  to  join 
the  army  of  the  Loire  in  the  forest  of  Fontainebleau 
were  also  repulsed.  It  is  impossible  to  contemplate 
without  a  deep  feeling  of  pathos  the  result  of  these 
passionate  efforts  of  the  French,  every\vhere  crushed 
by  the  iron  hand  of  their  relentless  foe,  which  re- 
semble the  struggles  of  a  victim  in  the  arms  of  the 
murderer  who  is  strangling  him. 

By  the  capture  of  Orleans  a  large  number  of 
prisoners  and  much  booty  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Germans,  and  the  remains  of  the  army  of  the  Loire 


4:08  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

retired  down  the  river  to  Blois.  Bishop  Dupan- 
loup,  who  had  made  himself  conspicuous  by  the 
energy  of  his  patriotism,  was  made  a  prisoner  in  his 
l)alace,  and  his  catliedral  was  turned  into  a  receptacle 
for  French  prisoners.  Gambetta  was  nearly  taken 
])risoner  on  his  way  from  Tours  to  the  field  of  battle. 
He  was  dissatisfied  with  the  manner  in  which  Aurelle 
de  Paladines  had  conducted  the  campaign  and  re- 
lieved him  from  his  command.  Gambetta  now  con- 
ceived the  plan  of  forming  his  lines  in  two  divisions, 
one  of  which  should  operate  towards  the  east,  under 
the  command  of  Bourbaki,  who  had  surrendered  the 
charge  of  the  Armv  of  the  North  to  General  Faid- 
herbe,  while  the  other  under  Chanzy  should  under- 
take the  duty  of  expelling  the  enemy  from  the  lower 
and  middle  Loire.  For  the  purpose  of  conducting 
these  operations  with  greater  freedom  the  seat  of 
government  was  removed  on  December  10  from 
Tours  to  Bordeaux. 

The  immediate  result  of  this  change  was  to  give  for- 
tune to  the  French,  and  Chanzy  was  enabled  to  gain 
considerable  successes  in  the  second  week  of  December 
over  the  troops  of  the  Grand  Duke  of  Mecklenburg 
at  Meung,  Beaugency,  Marchenoir,  and  other  places. 
But  the  arrival  on  the  scene  of  Prince  Frederick 
Charles  inclined  the  scale  in  the  other  direction. 
Having  first  driven  back  the  x\rmv  of  Bourbaki  to 
Vierzon  and  Bourges,  he  hastened  to  Orleans  and 
was  soon  able  to  gain  possession  both  of  Blois  and 
of  Tours.  The  second  army  of  the  French  under 
Chanzy  was  not  able  to  maintain  its  first  success,  but 
was  gradually  driven  back,  until  all  hope  of  reliev- 
ing Paris  had  disappeared.     In  the  early  days  of 


I 


THE  SIEGE  OF  PARIS.  469 

January  the  united  armies  of  Prince  Frederick 
Charles  and  the  Grand  Duke  of  Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin,  numbering  more  than  seventy  thousand 
men,  advanced  against  Chanzv's  army  of  the  west. 
In  the  midst  of  the  paralysing  cold  of  an  unusually 
severe  winter  the  Germans  pursued  the  French  over 
swelling  fields,  whose  surface  was  covered  with  sno\v 
and  slippery  ice,  shot  down  by  the  francs-tireurs  who 
lav  in  ambush  behind  every  hedge  and  every  wall, 
wiiming  slowly,  by  patient  efforts,  hill  after  hill  and 
field  after  field.  It  would  be  useless  to  repeat  the 
names  of  the  places  lying  between  the  Loire  and  the 
south,  made  memorable  by  their  engagements.  The 
decisive  battle  took  place  at  the  gates  of  La  Mans  on 
January  11  and  12,  and  the  Camp  of  Conlie  was 
captured  on  January  15.  Chanzy  was  compelled  ^o 
retire  to  Laval,  where  he  attempted  to  reorganise 
the  relics  of  his  army,  and  the  Germans  pressed  for- 
ward to  Alengon. 

It  was  an  essential  part  of  the  French  plan  that 
the  attempts  to  break  through  the  line  of  investment 
from  without  should  be  seconded  by  energetic  sorties 
from  within.  In  order  to  effect  this  object  they  had 
erected  on  the  heights  of  Mont  Avron,  to  the  east  of 
Paris,  in  front  of  the  forts  of  Xogent  and  Rosny, 
some  batteries  armed  with  heavy  pieces  of  siege 
ordnance  in  order  to  bombard  the  villages  occupied  by 
the  Saxons  and  Wiirtembergers.  General  Ducrot  had 
selected  this  region  as  best  adapted  for  a  successful 
outbreak,  and  he  declared  in  a  proclamation  that  he 
would  return  from  the  attack  either  as  conqueror 
or  a  corpse.  He  directed  feigned  assaults  on  the 
German  positions  to  the  south  and  to  the  north  in 


4Y0  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

order  to  divert  the  attention  of  the  enemv,  while  he 
pressed  beyond  Vincennes  with  his  main  force  in 
ironchid  railway  trains,  armed  with  cannon,  in  order 
to  reach  nnobseryed  the  objective  on  which  his  de- 
signs were  directed.  Under  the  protection  of  a 
terrible  cannonade  from  Mont  Avron  and  the  forts  of 
Charenton  and  Xogent  he  threw  eight  bridges  across 
the  Marne,  and  with  largely  superior  numbers  fell 
upon  the  villages  of  Brie,  Champigny,  Villiers  and 
Xoisy.  On  November  30  the  Germans  defended 
their  position  for  a  wliole  day,  but  at  approach  of 
evening  were  compelled  to  evacuate  Brie  and  Cham- 
pigny, which,  however,  were  recovered  on  the  fol- 
lowing day  with  the  assistance  of  the  Pomeranians 
under  Franseckv.  In  these  engagements  and  in  other 
combats  which  ensued  on  December  2  and  3  the  Ger- 
mans lost  six  thousand  two  hundred  men,  and  the 
French  enjoyed  the  triumph  of  marching  a  number 
of  German  prisoners  through  the  streets  of  Paris, 
but  they  had  lost  on  their  side  twelve  thousand  men 
and  more  than  four  hundred  officers. 

Disappointed  of  relief  from  tlie  south,  the  be- 
leaguered city  looked  for  lielp  from  the  north  and 
north-west,  from  Xormandy,  Artois  and  Picardy,  as 
well  as  from  the  Free  Corps  of  French  Flanders. 
The  army  of  the  north,  first,  as  we  have  seen,  under 
the  command  of  Bourbaki  and  then  of  Faidherbe, 
was  supported  by  the  fortresses  of  Lille  and  Amiens, 
while  those  of  La  Fere,  St.  Quentin  and  Peronne 
\vere  also  in  the  possession  of  the  French.  Amiens 
was  captured  after  a  great  battle  on  Xovember  27, 
and  from  it  the  Germans  proceeded  to  the  conquest 
of  Xormandy.    Rouen  fell  on  December  6,  and  three 


THE  SIEGE  OF  PARIS.  471 

days  later,  by  the  capture  of  Dieppe,  the  Germans 
reached  the  shores  of  the  English  Channel,  the 
French  army  taking  refuge  in  Le  Havre.  Ten  days 
later  the  repulse  of  a  great  sortie  organised  by  Trochu 
at  Le  Bourget,  already  the  scene  of  murderous  con- 
flicts, gave  the  Germans  an  opportunity  of  celebrat- 
ing their  Christmas  in  comparative  peace ;  but 
Christmas  Eve  witnessed  the  long  contested  and 
sanguinary  battle  of  Hallue.  At  Bapaume  after 
two  days'  fighting,  on  January  2  and  3,  1871,  the 
victory  remained  uncertain,  the  French  retreating  to 
the  north  and  the  Germans  to  the  south.  The  de- 
parture of  Manteuffel  for  the  army  of  the  east  in- 
spired Faidherbe  with  new  courage.  Reinforced  by 
fresh  arrivals  of  marines  and  gardes  mobiles,  he 
determined  to  make  an  attack  on  the  lines  of  invest- 
ment. He  suffered,  however,  a  serious  defeat  at  St. 
Quentin  on  January  19,  and  that  important  fortress 
was  lost  to  the  French. 

The  bombardment  of  Paris,  which  had  been  so 
long  deferred,  was  now  begun  on  the  day  after 
Christmas  Day,  and  increased  ten-fold  the  distress 
of  the  besieged  citizens.  The  Parisians  had  believed 
that  an  effectual  bombardment  at  so  great  a  distance 
was  impossible  to  carry  out,  but  when  shells  were 
seen  to  fall  in  the  heart  of  Paris,  in  the  Luxembourg, 
the  church  of  Saint  Sulpice  and  the  Pantheon,  and 
when  persons  were  killed  by  them  in  the  Rue  du 
Bois  and  the  Faubourg  St.  Germain,  there  was  a 
general  outcry  against  the  barbarians  who  had  the 
audacity  to  destroy  the  metropolis  of  civilisation, 
Trochu  was  now  driven  against  his  better  judgment 


472  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

to  make  one  last  effort.  On  January  19,  the  day 
after  the  King  of  Prussia  had  been  proclaimed  Em- 
peror in  the  palace  of  Versailles,  the  whole  of  the 
available  French  forces, one  hundred  thousand  strong;, 
maj'ched  in  the  direction  of  Meudon,  Sevres,  and  St. 
Cloud  for  the  final  struc'ffle.  Vinov  commanded  on 
the  left,  Ducrot  on  the  right,  whilst  Trochu  directed 
the  whole  advance  from  the  commanding  posi- 
tion of  the  observatory.  Vinoy's  column  succeeded 
in  gaining  possession  of  the  German  entrenchments 
at  Montretout;  but  Ducrot  was  hindered  in  his  ad- 
vance bv  the  barricades  which  had  been  erected  in 
the  streets  of  Paris  and  was  unable  to  give  support 
at  the  proper  time.  After  an  obstinate  fight  of  seven 
hours'  duration  the  French  were  driven  back  into 
their  capital  with  a  loss  of  seven  thousand  men,  and 
on  the  following  day  Trochu  demanded  an  armis- 
tice for  the  purpose  of  burying  his  dead.  After  long 
discussions  a  convention  was  signed  which  provided 
for  a  suspension  of  arms  to  last  from  January  28  to 
February  10.  It  was  confidently  stated  at  Berlin 
in  the  following  winter,  on  the  authority  of  Moltke, 
that  until  this  last  sortie  had  been  made  and  failed, 
the  investment  of  Paris  was  still  regarded  as  un- 
certain, and  that  the  King's  baggage  stood  ready 
packed  at  Versailles  in  order  that  a  dej)arture  might 
take  place  at  any  moment. 

The  line  of  demarcation  established  by  the  con- 
vention cut  through  the  departments  of  (Calvados 
and  Orne,  and  left  in  the  power  of  the  Germans  the 
depai-tments  of  Sarthe,  Indre-et-Loire,  Jjoir-et-Cher, 
Loiret,  Yonne,  and  thence  to  the  north-east  with  the 


■      THE  SIEGE  OF  PARIS.  473 

exception  of  Pas-de-Calais  and  ]^ord.  The  cessa- 
tion of  arms  in  the  departments  of  the  Cote-d'Or, 
Doubs,  Jnra,  and  at  Belfort  was  deferred  for  tlie 
present,  for  reasons  which  will  soon  be  apparent. 
Arrangements  were  made  for  the  election  of  a 
Xational  Assembly  which  was  to  decide  on  the  qnes- 
tion  of  war  and  peace,  and  which  was  to  meet  at 
Bordeaux.  The  whole  of  the  Paris  forts  were  to  be 
immediately  surrendered,  and  the  fortifications  were 
to  be  deprived  of  their  means  of  defence.  All  the 
French  troops  in  Paris  were  to  be  considered  prison- 
ers, with  the  exception  of  twelve  thousand  which 
were  left  for  the  security  of  the  capital.  They  were 
to  remain  for  the  present  within  the  walls  of  the 
town,  their  arms  being  surrendered.  The  ISTational 
Guard  and  the  gendarmes  were  allowed  to  retain 
their  arms  for  purposes  of  police;  but  all  the 
Free  Corps  were  disbanded.  Measures  were  taken 
for  the  provisioning  of  Paris.  Ko  one  might  leave 
the  capital  without  the  joint  permission  of  the  French 
and  Germans ;  and  the  municipality  of  Paris  was  to 
pay  a  contribution  of  two  hundred  million  francs 
within  fourteen  days.  All  German  prisoners  were 
to  be  immediately  exchanged  for  a  corresponding 
number  of  French  prisoners. 

This  lengthy  but  momentous  story  is  now  nearly 
at  an  end.  Gambetta  formed  a  plan  by  which  Bour- 
baki,  perhaps  the  most  competent  of  the  French 
generals,  should  with  that  portion  of  the  Army  of 
the  Loire,  which  after  the  second  conquest  of  Orleans 
had  retired  to  Bourges,  move  eastwards  towards 
Severs,  and  gathering  to  itself  what  reinforcements 
it  could  command,  throw  himself  on  the  German 


474  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

communications,  set  free  Belfort  and  the  district  of 
the  Upper  Rhine,  and  carry  fire  and  sword  into  the 
mountains  of  Baden,  and  the  valleys  of  the  Black 
Forest.  Telegraph  wires  were  to  be  cut,  railways 
broken  up  and  bridges  destroyed,  so  that  the  retreat 
of  the  Germans  towards  the  Khine  might  be  cut  off. 
In  pursuance  of  these  plans  the  bridge  over  the 
Moselle  at  Fontenoy  was  broken  down  on  January 
22,  1871,  so  that  railway  communications  were  in- 
terrupted for  ten  days. 

To  frustrate  these  plans  General  Werder  was 
posted  at  Dijon  with  twenty-eight  thousand  men, 
whilst  Bourbaki  was  hastening  with  one  hundred 
and  fifty  thousand  by  way  of  Besangon  and  Mont- 
belaird,  to  raise  the  siege  of  Belfort,  and  to  invade 
Alsace.  Werder  was  compelled  to  abandon  Dijon, 
which  was  immediately  occupied  by  Garibaldi.  After 
a  forced  march  of  three  days  he  engaged  the  troops 
of  Bourbaki  on  January  9,  at  Villersexel  on  the 
Oignon,  and  then  arrested  his  advance  at  Hericourt. 
Three  days'  struggle,  on  January  15, 16,  and  17,  gave 
Manteuffel  time  to  come  up,  and  the  victory  of  Wer- 
der at  Hericourt  and  Goeben  at  St.  Quentin  were 
the  first  gifts  of  honour  which  the  newly-proclaimed 
Emperor  received  at  Versailles.  Kettler  compelled 
Garibaldi  to  evacuate  Dijon,  and  Bourbaki  was  sur- 
rounded by  the  German  armies  in  such  a  manner  that 
he  had  no  alternative  but  to  surrender  or  to  retreat 
into  the  neutral  territory  of  Switzerland.  This  final 
step  was  taken  on  February  1,  General  Clinchant 
having  succeeded  Bourbaki  in  the  command,  who  had 
been  wounded  and  taken  to  I^yons.  Thus  an  army 
of  eighty-five  thousand  in  the  most  miserable  cou- 


THE  SIEGE  OF  PARIS.  4^5 

dition,  half-starved  and  scarcely  like  limnaii  beings, 
crossed  the  frontier  and  laid  down  their  arms,  the 
Swiss  doing  their  utmost  to  supply  their  wants.  This 
was  the  fourth  French  army,  the  other  three  being 
those  of  Sedan,  Metz,  and  Paris,  which  had  been 
rendered  useless  for  further  combat  since  the  Ger- 
man invasion  in  the  previous  August. 

Belfort,  wliich  had  been  so  nobly  defended  by  its 
commandant  Treskow,  capitulated  by  the  orders  of 
the  French  Government  on  February  16,  under  the 
condition  that  the  garrison  should  march  out  with 
the  honours  of  w^ar.  Ten  days  later  the  preliminaries 
of  peace  were  signed  at  Versailles  between  Bismarck 
and  Jules  Favre.  Thus  ended  one  of  the  most  re- 
markable wars  in  history,  marked  by  twenty-three 
battles  and  an  endless  number  of  lesser  engagements. 
N^ever  before  had  such  large  masses  of  men  been  seen 
in  conflict.  At  Gravelotte  the  numbers  were  270,000 
against  210,000,  at  Sedan  210,000  against  150,000. 
The  losses  of  the  Germans  were  calculated  at  5,254 
officers  and  112,000  men;  those  of  the  French  in 
killed,  M^ounded,and  prisoners  almost  defy  enumera- 
tion. The  number  of  German  prisoners  captured  by 
the  French  did  not  exceed  10,000;  whereas  at  least 
400,000  unarmed  Frenchmen  crossed  the  Rhine  as 
captives. 


PART  FOURTEEN. 
THE  RUSS0-TURK18H  WAR 


CHAPTER  LXVIIL 


THE     RUSSIAN     ADVANCE. 


The  Emperor  Alexander  IL,  having  determined, 
for  reasons  which  seemed  snfficient  to  himself,  to 
make  war  on  Turkey,  left  St.  Petersburg  for  the 
army  and  arrived  at  Kisheneff,  the  capital  of  Rus- 
sian Bessarabia,  on  April  23,  1877.  On  the  follow- 
ing day  he  issued  a  proclamation  in  which  he  stated 
that  he  was  taking  up  arms  for  the  purpose  of  secur- 
ing to  his  suffering  fellow-Christians  on  Turkish  soil 
the  safeguards  wdiicli  w^^ere  necessary  for  their  future 
welfare.  In  the  same  night  large  Russian  forces 
crossed  the  Prutli  at  three  different  places  w^th  the 
object  of  marching  to  the  Danube,  the  passage 
through  Roumania,  which  was  then  tributary  to 
Turkey,  having  been  secured  by  a  convention.  The 
Emperor  was  present  with  the  army  in  person,  not 
with  the  view  of  assuming  command  of  it,  which  was 
left  in  the  hands  of  the  Grand  Duke  Nicholas,  but 
to  inspire  the  troops  with  confidence  and  courage. 
He  fixed  his  headquarters  at  Plojesti. 


THE  RUSSIAN  ADVANCE.  477 

On  Mav  22  Prince  Charles  of  Roumania  now  as- 
serted  himself  to  be  independent  of  the  Porte,  and 
marched  at  the  head  of  an  army  into  the  field  in 
order  to  assist  the  Russians  in  fighting  against  the 
Sultan,  his  former  suzerain.  At  the  same  time  other 
Russian  armies  crossed  the  Turkish  frontier  in  Asia, 
taking  Bojazid  without  striking  a  blow,  and  storm- 
ing Ardahan  on  the  upper  Kur.  The  flotilla  which 
the  Turks  were  keeping  on  the  Danube  was  ham- 
pered by  batteries  along  the  shore,  and  still  more 
by  torpedoes,  which  were  employed  with  great  effect 
in  this  war ;  and  two  ironclad  vessels  were  blown  up. 

Owing  to  the  negligence  of  the  Turkish  general, 
Abdul  Kerim,  the  Russians  had  little  difficulty  in 
crossing  the  Danube  at  Galatz,  and  in  occupying 
the  strong  places  of  Matshin,  Isaktcha,  Tulcha, 
Babadagh,  and  Hirsova,  whilst  the  Turks  withdre^y 
to  the  line  between  Chernavoda  and  Kustendji,  while 
the  main  army  crossed  the  same  river  at  various 
points  between  Simnitza  and  Sistova,  and  compelled 
the  Turks  to  retreat  partly  to  jSTicopolis  and  partly 
to  Tirnova.  The  Emperor  placed  his  headquarters 
at  Sistova,  and  from  this  place  issued  on  June  27  a 
manifesto  to  the  Bulgarian  Christians  announcing 
that  he  had  come  to  set  them  free  from  Mussulman 
tvrannv. 

Thus  in  ten  weeks  from  the  opening  of  hostilities 
the  Russians  had  established  themselves  on  the 
southern  bank  of  the  Danube,  with  a  loss  which  was 
entirely  insignificant  in  proportion  to  the  magni- 
tude of  their  success.  In  the  first  days  of  July  they 
were  in  possession  of  all  the  country  from  Sistova 


478  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY, 

to  Gabrova,  which  lies  at  the  foot  of  the  Shipka 
Pass  over  the  Balkans,  and  Prince  Cherhesky  was 
entrusted  with  the  government  of  the  province  of 
Bulgaria.  On  July  16,  four  days  after  the  entry 
of  the  Russian  army  into  Tirnova,  the  importaiit 
fortress  of  jSTicopolis  fell  into  Russian  hands,  six 
thousand  men  and  two  pashas  being  made  prisoners, 
and  forty  guns  being  captured.  Soon  after  this  the 
towns  of  Selvi  and  Levatz  were  occupied,  while  Gen- 
eral Gourko  and  Prince  Mirski  made  themselves 
masters  of  the  Shipka  and  the  Hankoi  Passes.  On 
reaching  the  southern  slope  of  the  Balkans  the  Rus- 
sian cavalry  pressed  on  by  way  of  Eshi-Sagra,  Kara- 
bunar  and  Jamboli  as  far  as  Ilarmanli,  which  lies  be- 
tween Adrianople  and  Philippopolis  and  encamped  in 
the  valley  of  the  Maritza.  These  rapid  successes 
seemed  to  point  to  the  probability  that  in  a  few  weeks 
the  Russians  would  be  in  Constantinople  and  the 
war  would  be  at  an  end. 

The  party  which  was  now  in  power  in  England 
was  most  discouraged  by  these  remarkable  successes. 
They  strengthened  the  British  squadron  in  Besika 
Bav,  and  made  an  offer  to  the  Porte  to  send  men-of- 
war  into  the  Bosphorus,  or  to  occupy  Gallipoli.  The 
Porte  refused  to  accept  these  offers  except  under  the 
condition  of  an  offensive  and  defensive  alliance,  and 
the  English  Government  were  disinclined  to  take 
so  important  a  step  without  the  co-operation  of 
Austria,  who  was  unwilling  to  do  violence  to  the 
union  which  had  existed  for  some  time  between  the 
three  Emperors. 

The  Porte  at  last  woke  up  to  the  gravity  of  the 


THE  RUSSIAN  ADVANCE.  479 

crisis,  and  began  to  understand  how  much  her  in- 
terests had  been  sacrificed  by  the  generals  she  had 
employed.     Abdul  Kerim,  the  Commander-in-Chief, 
and  Redif  Paslia,  the  Minister  of  War,  were  deprived 
of  their   positions   and  were  banished  to   Lemnos; 
Mehemet    Ali  Pasha,  of  European  origin,  was  in- 
vested with  the  command  of  the  army  of  the  Danube, 
and  Osman  Pasha,  the  Commandant  of  Widdin,  oc- 
cupied the  town  of  Plevna  with  thirty  thousand  men, 
and  fortified  it  in  such  a  manner  as  to  make  it  a 
centre  of  serious  resistance.     Osman  Pasha's  army 
was  soon  increased  by  reinforcements  to  the  number 
of  fifty  thousand;  and  besides  this  the  Turks  were 
superior  to  the  Russians  in  armaments.      Two  at- 
tempts of  the  Russians  to  capture  Plevna  failed,  one 
on  July  20  and  the  other  ten  days  later.     The  first 
defeat  was  due  to  the  fault  of  the  Russian  general, 
who,  having  no  accurate  knowledge  of  the  strengtli 
or  position  of  the  enemy,  and  without  any  reserves 
in  store,  led  his  troops  to  the  assault  along  two  lines 
which  had  no  communication  with  each  other,  against 
an  enemy  which  he  afterwards  discovered  to  be  moi-e 
than  four   times  his  strength.      The   second   attack 
imder  Kriidener  also  ended  in  complete  failure.    The 
Russian  loss  in  the  second  battle  of  July  30  was  little 
less  than  eight  thousand,  of  whom  two  thousand  four 
hundred  were  left  dead  upon  the  field;  the  loss  in 
the  first  battle  had  been  scarcely  three  tliousand. 

On  hearing  of  these  defeats  the  Grand  Duke 
INicholas  removed  his  headquarters  from  Tirnova  to 
Biela,  and  from  thence  to  Gourji-Studen,  whither 
he  was  soon  followed  by  the  Emperor. 


480  WARS  OF  THE  CENTURY. 

The  decisive  defeat  at  Plevna  on  July  30  brought 
the  Russian  advance  to  a  standstill.  The  Russians 
at  this  time  occuj^ied  a  position  nearly  elliptical  in 
shape,  from  ^N^icopolis  on  the  Danube  to  a  point  on 
the  same  river  near  Rustchuk,  the  major  axis  of 
the  ellipse  being  about  eighty  miles,  the  minor  axi.s 
about  sixty.  The  six  corps  occupying  this  space  had 
lost  about  fifteen  thousand  men,  killed  and